Hydroid Inc., a Bourne-based manufacturer of autonomous underwater vehicles, said that three of its AUVs are now in production for the US Navy, which plans to use them for such jobs as collecting oceanographic and meteorological data.
The decision by the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or SPAWAR, follows more than a year of testing and evaluation.
The AUVs ordered by SPAWAR will be equipped with advanced technologies for the collection of oceanographic and meteorological data, as well as technologies for processing and dissemination of these data, Hydroid said.
The AUVs will be customized versions of a Hydroid model designated as the Remus 600-S. Roughly 4.3 meters long, the Remus 600-S weighs about 720 pounds and can be programmed to operate at a depth as deep as 1,500 meters. In its standard configuration, this AUV can operate for 24 hours at a speed of 3 knots per hour.
A few years ago, a Remus was used by the Royal Netherlands Navy to find a missing World War I German submarine off the Dutch coast. And a short time earlier, Hydroid’s underwater robots helped French investigators retrieve a key component of one of the flight-data recorders from an Air France jet that had crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
Hydroid is a subsidiary of Norway-based Kongsberg Maritime.