New AUV Completes Testing and Sea Trials

The largest of Kongsberg Discovery’s HUGIN family of AUVs has completed factory acceptance testing, now allowing autonomous operations directly from shore, spending up to 15 days at sea By Abi Wylie / 03 May 2024
New AUV Completes Testing and Sea Trials
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Kongsberg Discovery’s first production system of its long-range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) HUGIN Endurance has completed factory acceptance testing.

Sea trials for the first production unit began in September 2023, and over the last months, the Kongsberg Discovery Uncrewed Platforms team has put HUGIN Endurance through its paces, verifying and refining all system capabilities. 

Sea trials culminated in March 2024 with a successful demonstration of the AUV capabilities to the customer. 

Launched in 2021, HUGIN Endurance is the largest member of Kongsberg Discovery’s HUGIN family of AUVs. The system can come equipped with a wider array of standard sensors than some other uncrewed underwater vehicles, including: 

  • Wide-swath high-resolution synthetic aperture sonar (HISAS 1032 Dual RX)
  • Multibeam echo sounder (EM 2040 MkII)
  • Sub-bottom profiling system
  • Colour camera
  • Laser profiler
  • Magnetometer
  • Environmental sensors collecting data such as conductivity, temperature, sound speed, methane, and CO2 and O2 concentration

In addition, the vehicle includes a large configurable volume that can be used to carry a mixture of batteries and custom payloads as needed. The system is designed to allow autonomous operations directly from shore, and with a full complement of batteries, it can spend up to 15 days at sea, traveling up to 2200 km (1200 nm).

While the new AUV incorporates many of the industry-leading capabilities found in previous HUGIN vehicles, to enable long-term unsupported missions, new advancements had to be made, including greater redundancy, a new autonomous mission management system, greater situational awareness, and the ability to deal with a wide range of varying water density.

President Martin Wien Fjell is immensely proud of the great effort of the organization; “I am very proud of the team’s hard work, and we are achieving yet another significant milestone in the history of our company. The project has been delivered in record time, and a huge thank you to everybody who has contributed to this success. 

“This is also an excellent way to celebrate our first anniversary as Kongsberg Discovery. The customer is also pleased and genuinely impressed by the work accomplished by Kongsberg Discovery,” he stated.

Fjell says that the HUGIN Endurance program has attracted significant interest both from the defence sector and commercial operators.

“Endurance can accommodate whatever kind of payload a customer wants, whether for seabed mapping or inspection, oceanography, continuous surveys of offshore wind parks, or as a surveillance tool for critical subsea infrastructure or changes in ecosystems. 

“To achieve the first system delivery is a significant milestone, and we will continue to develop additional capabilities. HUGIN Endurance enters the market as a game-changer,” he added.

Posted by Abi Wylie Connect & Contact