Kongsberg to Offer Two New Ocean Glider Systems


By The Maritime Executive 05-08-2017 05:40:01

Seattle, WA, May 8, 2017 – Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. announced today that it successfully completed negotiations with CoMotion®, the University of Washington’s collaborative innovation hub, to obtain the sole rights to produce, market, and continue development of two new underwater glider systems.

Ocean gliders are a specialised type of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Rather than using a propeller to move through the water, they use fixed wings and changes in buoyancy to achieve both vertical and forward motion. The vehicles move through the water in a saw-tooth trajectory and surface periodically to communicate data on water properties, such as temperature, salinity and oxygen concentration, back to users via satellite telemetry. This form of propulsion is very energy efficient, and allows mission periods of several months and distances of thousands of kilometres, rather than just a few days and tens of kilometres typical of propeller-driven AUVs.

Both new glider systems are based in part on the original, proven Seaglider™ design. The first vehicle, Deepglider, is designed for operation to a maximum of 6000 meters. This capability is unique in the world of underwater gliders, and will allow the system to completely profile over 97% of the world’s oceans.

The second vehicle, Oculus, is specifically designed for high performance, shallow water operation. Oculus has an amazing amount of variable buoyancy – 3500 cc – which will allow it to operate from fresh water to sea water without the need to alter its static ballast. It is also capable of achieving horizontal speeds up to 2 knots. These capabilities will enable operations in areas of extreme density variation and high currents.

“We are extremely pleased to be adding Deepglider and Oculus to our underwater glider systems offering,” said Tom Healy, President of Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. “Each vehicle’s unique capabilities fill some key gaps in the marketplace and will allow us to provide solutions to meet a wider range of customer needs.”

“It was gratifying to work with the scientists in the UW School of Oceanography and the UW Applied Physics Lab to streamline the process for transferring and then selecting the best licensee for UW’s autonomous underwater gliders,” said Laura Dorsey, senior technology manager at CoMotion. “UW CoMotion worked through the intricacies of transferring the technology for these complex vehicles and is delighted that KONGSBERG is making them commercially available.”

Development of these glider systems was supported by federal grants from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Navy, Office of Naval Research.

New KONGSBERG Seaglider models will be displayed alongside the state-of-the-art Eelume underwater robot for the first time at AUVSI Xponential, which takes place this week at the Kay Bailer Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas (booth #1846).

For further information, please contact Katharina H. Nygaard / Kongsberg Maritime / Tel: +47 3303 4100 / katharina.nygaard@km.kongsberg.com

About Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc.

Located in Lynnwood, WA, USA, Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. is a supplier of advanced hydro-acoustic systems and underwater instrumentation including autonomous underwater vehicles, multibeam echo sounders, sub-bottom profilers and integrated motion reference systems. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, the world leader in AUV technology.

About UW CoMotion®

CoMotion® at the University of Washington is the collaborative innovation hub dedicated to expanding the economic and societal impact of the UW community. By developing and connecting to local and global innovation ecosystems, CoMotion helps innovators achieve the greatest impact from their discoveries.

About Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime is a global marine technology company providing innovative and reliable technology solutions for all marine industry sectors including merchant, offshore, subsea and naval. Headquartered in Kongsberg, Norway, the company has manufacturing, sales and service facilities in 20 countries.

Kongsberg Maritime systems for vessels cover all aspects of marine automation, safety, manoeuvring, navigation, and dynamic positioning. Subsea solutions include single and multibeam echo sounders, sonars, AUV/Underwater Robotics, underwater navigation, communication and camera systems.

Training courses at locations globally, LNG solutions, information management, position reference systems and technology for seismic and drilling operations are also part of the company’s diverse technology portfolio.

In parallel with its extensive technology portfolio, Kongsberg Maritime provides services within EIT (Electro, Instrument & Telecom) engineering and system integration, on an EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) basis.

Kongsberg Maritime delivers solutions that cover all aspects of technology underwater and on the water, aboard new build and retrofit vessels, and on offshore platforms and rigs, often under a single supplier strategy called The Full Picture.

Kongsberg Maritime is part of Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG), an international, knowledge-based group that celebrated 200 years in business during 2014. KONGSBERG supplies high-technology systems and solutions to customers in the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine, and the defence and aerospace industries.


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