Although several hundred Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have been produced to date, AUVs are still regarded as a relatively new technology. Some analysts say that they have the potential to ‘change the game’ in some areas of underwater operations. Considerable investments by research institutes, manufacturers and the military are resulting in AUVs becoming increasing accepted in some of key roles where they have been shown to be more effective than previous technology.
A recent report identifies three significant growth markets for AUVS, namely oil & gas, research and military applications. The report covers the period from 2008-17 and examines the market drivers and prospects in each of the main application sectors. It identifies a “most likely” market scenario being valued at $1.8 billion with the upside market potential valued at over $3.5 billion.
Marport and Canada’s with the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Ocean Technology (NRC-IOT) are co-developing a compact AUV designed for search and survey applications. The AUV is code-named SQX1 and is a hydrodynamically stable platform designed for reliable performance and low life-cycle cost. The vehicle’s dual-pod design enables exceptional stability and its position and velocity controllers are tuned for near-hovering capabilities. SQX1 will be equipped with Marport’s Software Defined Sonar (SDS) platform – which will include advanced sensors, sounders and imaging sonar. The payload architecture can also be configured to include a wide variety of standard and/or custom sensors to meet unique subsea mission requirements.
The development of the vehicle is progressing very well and Marport expects to be conducting open water sea trials during this coming summer.
Marport’s new Caruso SF7 was recently profiled in Le Marin – the French maritime news magazine.
The Caruso SF7 is a broadband, multi-function sounder/profiler designed for commercial fishing, ocean science and underwater defence. The system consists of a sparse array transducer, a software defined transceiver and a bridge computer. The system is delivered with Marport’s CommandView software to enable processing, display and recording. The new solution provides 7 advanced functions in 1:
- Split Beam Sounder
- Doppler Current Profiler
- Speed Velocity Log
- Broadband Chirp Echosounder
- Sub Bottom Profiler
- Sea Surface Temperature
- Bottom Classification
To review the article (in French language) click here.
Enabling technologies support new discoveries and lead to fundamental advances in the knowledge of our oceans. In the 1940s and 50s, the first global scale mapping of the seafloor enabled the discovery of seafloor spreading which has since revolutionized ideas of earth structure. A decade later, the first exploration of mid-ocean ridges using deep-towed vehicles and submersibles resulted in the discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents occupied by forms of life that previously had been unknown. Since then ocean scientists have used a variety of tools to help re-define understanding of the world’s oceans.
Ocean sciences are now on the threshold of another major technological advance as the scientific community begins to establish a global, long-term presence in the oceans. This opportunity arises from the emergence of new remote sensing and communications technologies such as:
- telemetry technology (e.g., acoustic modems, satellites and fibre-optics) that enables real-time telemetry of subsea sensor data as well as interactive control of instruments in even the most remote parts of the deep sea;
- new sensors that make it possible for in situ measurements of physical, chemical, and biological processes;
- computer hardware and visualization software to build realistic models of ocean phenomena;
- data archival systems that can store, manipulate, and retrieve data from arrays of sensors; and
- computer networks that can bring real-time data to the desktop, which could enhance participation of researchers, students, educators. Data widely available via the World Wide Web could also generate significant interest by the general public in ocean research and discovery.
At Marport, we believe that the oceans offer the last great source of protein and energy – particularly in deepwater and pristine arctic regions – resulting in a need for enhanced levels of environmental monitoring and ocean observation systems. Marport scientists and engineers are researching and developing new underwater sensing, data logging and acoustic telemetry products for ocean science. We’re also working with a wide variety of world-class ocean science organizations to understand current and future requirements for Ocean Observation Systems.
As an example, the Global Ocean Observing System is a permanent global system for observations, modelling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide. The global market for such systems is being driven by a complex and interrelated set of factors ranging from climate change to the geopolitical, from military to geological.
And the market is expected to be significant.
In a recent study commissioned by the University of Victoria and completed by Douglas-Westwood Limited, the global market for Ocean Observation Systems was valued at some $1.8 billion in 2006 and is expected to grow to $2.2 billion by 2011. With increasing impact of market drivers – in particular the response to global warming – the analysts expect total forecast expenditures for Ocean Observation Systems will grow significantly.
Although the Arctic is not the only region on Earth affected by environmental change, it poses special problems and concerns. Recent northern summers have experienced dramatic losses in sea ice cover. In 2007, the ice sheet shrank to 4.1 million square kilometres. This represents a reduction of nearly 40 per cent when compared to the 2000 average of 6.7 million square kilometres.
Given easier access, other countries are also now engaged in efforts to assert their sovereign rights over seabed areas in the central Arctic Ocean, provoking concerns that competing claims to lead to disputes and conflict.
Although the likelihood of armed conflict appears remote, at least for the near future, military activities are certainly on the rise, underpinning the need for enhanced capabilities among the Arctic littoral nations of Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States. Under the United Nations Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), maritime nations have the potential to claim “extended underwater territory”. A proven location could increase territorial coverage by 350 nautical miles. There is currently a rush underway to gather scientific evidence (seabed mapping, etc.) to support submissions to UNCLOS.
The United States Geological Survey recently estimated that the Arctic could hold massive oil reserves (estimates range from 160 to 300 billion barrels of oil). The exploration of other resources such as protein (fish stocks are migrating north in search of cooler waters and feeding grounds), minerals and knowledge are also driving increased international interest in the Arctic.
As far as Canada is concerned, past governments have expressed interest in protecting Canada’s Arctic sovereignty, but the rhetoric has not usually been followed by action – until now.
Prime Minister Harper’s Conservative government has set in motion plans to protect the north, which draws on land, sea, air and space assets from various government departments and agencies, including Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence.
The government intends to invest C$50 billion in new equipment over the next 20 years. Planned acquisitions include 16 CH-47 helicopters, more autonomous vehicles, three Joint Support Ships (JSS) and six to eight Polar Class 5 Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs). The government’s Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) also outlines longer-term plans to purchase 15 new surface warships, 17 fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft, 65 next-generation fighters, 10-12 maritime patrol aircraft and new land combat vehicles.
The CFDS provides the Department of National Defence with long-term funding commitments by promising defence budget increases of two per cent per year starting in 2011-12. The government also promises that the CFDS “will be implemented in concert with a new long-term procurement strategy designed to benefit Canadian industry while building commercial capacity in relevant knowledge and technology industries”.
In response, Canadian-based companies are expanding their operations. Raytheon, which already has three plants in Ontario and one in Alberta, is opening a new facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to handle a long-term support contract for the navy’s SPS-49 long-range surveillance radar. General Dynamics Canada, which is the mission systems integrator for the new CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter being acquired from Sikorsky, is also opening a new facility in Halifax to provide in-service support to that aircraft.
At the same time, takeovers by major international corporations have resulted in new opportunities in foreign markets. In the last 5 years, many of Canada’s major defence companies have been acquired by US-based corporations. L-3 Communications has taken over Spar Aerospace, Bombardier’s Military Aviation Services, CAE’s Marine Controls unit and Wescam; General Dynamics bought General Motors Defense; Curtiss-Wright took over Indal Technologies – the maker of shipboard helicopter landing systems; and Esterline bought CMC Electronics.
All of these developments have contributed to new opportunities for growth in the Canadian defence industry – including emerging opportunities for Marport’s underwater sensing, communications and positioning technologies and products.
Fisheries Minister Einar K. Gudfinnsson, Iceland´s Minister of Fisheries, announced last week that Iceland´s cod quota for the current fishing year of 2008-2009 will be increased from 130,000 tons to 160,000 tons. Iceland’s current quota year started on September 1 2008 , so the new catch limits will be backdated to that period. According to Iceland Seafood International, the same increase will apply to the next fishing year 2009-2010. The increase in export revenue to Iceland’s cash strapped economy is estimated to be worth nearly $100 million, according to Icelandic newspapers.
It seems that the Icelandic romance with the finance & banking sector is over and the government is looking to traditional industries like commercial fisheries to get the country back on its feet.
Marport’s TrueTrawl Net Geometry System is designed to check the geometry of the net so operators can react quickly changes in net dynamics. Such corrective actions can improve catch quality and reduce risk of expensive net damage.
The system consists a Master Geometry sensor and up to four Slave Responders. The Master Geometry sensor is typically positioned on the headrope. The responders are placed on each door and can be used in single rig, 2 warp twin rigs and 3 warp twin rigs (as shown below). The results from the measurements made by the system are transmitted by wireless acoustic signal to the vessel’s bridge display. The data is presented in an easy to read and understand 3D graphical format.
We appreciate the recognition and thank the good folks at National Fisherman magazine!
Marport has again accomplished an industry first with the new Caruso SF7 Multi-Function Phased Array Sounder for surface warships and submarines. This radical design is based on Marport’s revolutionary Software Defined Sonar. The animation below is an excellent illustration of the Caruso SF7 in action on a submarine. Enjoy!
Marport unveiled the first advertisement of its new marketing campaign today. The advertisement below, will be the first in a series that will be introduced to the marketplace throughout the year.
We released some new brochures at today’s Underwater Battlespace conference being held in London, England.
The new Software Defined Sonar technology brochure can be downloaded from here.
The new Caruso SF7 brochure for naval applications can be downloaded from here.
During yesterday’s pre-conference workshop, Norman Friedman, an internationally known strategist and military technological analyst, gave a very interesting presentation on Net Centric Warfare. Network Centric Warfare (NCW) is a naval concept for transforming military operations in the 21st Century. NCW focuses on using information technology to link together ships, submarines, autonomous underwater vehicles, aircraft, and shore installations into highly integrated networks that present an overall tactical “picture” to enhance situational awareness. NCW could significantly improve naval capabilities and lead to substantial changes in naval tactics, doctrine, and organization.
Documental Solutions, a leading provider of market intelligence and analysis tools for the defence industry, estimates that the naval sonar market will be valued at nearly $3 billion per year from 2008 – 2012 and will grow to $25.9 billion in the period 2008 – 2017.
According to their analysis, the sonar market includes:
- Sonars installed or deployed from military platforms, or operated by military organizations, for the purposes of surveillance, detection, tracking, weapon targeting and other military-unique underwater operations (e.g. under-ice navigation);
- Development (government funded), production, and support programs;
- Service and Support contracts.
Market research sources include government budget and planning documents and websites, news publications and periodicals, press releases, industry and program reports, company and analyst reports, conference proceedings, defence association reports and primary research.
Founded in 1999, Documental Solutions, LLC is a leading provider of market intelligence and analysis tools for the defence and aerospace industry. IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight, acquired Documental Solutions LLC in September 2008 and plans to integrate it with Jane’s Information Group – acquired by IHS in 2007 – as part of the IHS Security domain.