Bluefin Robotics’s hovering underwater robot the HAUV-3 has successfully completed the government acceptance testing as the production system for the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) hull unmanned underwater vehicle localisation systems (HULS).
Prior to the formal government testing, Fleet personnel were trained by the company to operate the system in a wide range of in-water operational scenarios.
During the tests, HAUV-3 demonstrated its capabilities at high operational speeds and provided twice the endurance when compared with its predecessor prototype, the HAUV-2.
The US Navy also tested the system in specific areas, such as freezing and shaking, while one of the vehicles and its support equipment were also evaluated at very high temperatures.
The vehicle’s toughness was also tested, which enables in optimising the system for operation even in very harsh conditions.
Even after completing tough testing procedures, the system has been claimed to have performed well and allowed the operators to successfully power up all the subsystems of the vehicle.
Designed to obtain 100% sonar coverage to safeguard ports and harbours, the HAUV-3 is capable of independently carrying out inspection of the ship’s hull that is usually performed by divers.
Featuring a standard DIDSON imaging sonar, HAUV-3 is fitted with a camera to provide the divers with crucial supplemental visual information to perform the task of relocating contacts.
The testing follows a contract modification awarded to Bluefin Robotics from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, in 2011.
As part of the contract, the company had already delivered one system consisting of two vehicles and support equipment to the navy, with an additional two systems currently in production.