(Published in Indian Military Review, Oct 2013)
Excerpts from the article:-
Indian Navy currently employs Hugins AUV manufactured by Kongsberg Maritime for deep water survey purposes. These AUVs operate with the Catamaran type survey vessels procured from Alcock Ashdown Limited.
The AUV is able to meet the demand of deepwater geophysical survey and to improve data resolution in the event of undiluted seafloor condition, especially in deepwater area. Using AUV in deepwater survey will save enormous turning time compared to the traditional method (Towed System). In addition, it will also reduce operational expenditure by removing the need for a second vessel.
Apart from the DRDO a good deal of research is going on in development of AUVs in India. Researchers at Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – had developed India’s first indigenous AUV-150.
The mega system can fulfil tasks such as seafloor mapping, coastal surveillance, mine countermeasure, and oceanographic measurements during adverse weather conditions. The prototype weighs 490 kg, is 4.8 metres long and has a diameter of just 50 cm. It packs a wide array of equipment into its frame — depth sensor, altimeter, sonar and GPS and payload sensors — apart from a hybrid communication system that uses radio waves while on the surface and acoustic underwater. The remote controlled vehicle uses a Lithium polymer battery and can operate up to depths of 150 metres at speeds of 2-4 knots.
Complete article can be accessed at:-