Autonomous Underwater Vehicle - AUV
"The HUGIN is better, faster and less expensive than any other semi-submersible. It surveys the seabed at half the price and one quarter of the time used by other autonomous semi-submersibles," according to Dave Alleman of the US offshore survey company C & C Technologies. His brother Pete agrees.
For C & C Technologies, the HUGIN has been an unmitigated success. About 5 or 6 years ago, they put their proprietary technology on the back burner and chose rather to concentrate on KONGSBERG's HUGIN AUV 3000 (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle). They have never regretted it. They are currently buying their third HUGIN AUV, a HUGIN 4500 that can survey at depths all the way down to 4500 m.
HUGIN does it deeper
Kongsberg Maritime is the only player on the commercial market that can supply autonomous semi-submersibles to survey the seabed down to a depth of 4500 m.
"There are other semi-submersibles, but none that can compete with the HUGIN in difficult areas or in waters at depths all the way down to 4500 m. Nor is there any other underwater vehicle that can obtain such accurate readings from the seabed," underlines Pete Alleman, the man in charge of seabed surveying at C & C Technologies. The US offshore survey company has used HUGIN to chart the seabed for oil companies that operate in West Africa, the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the Mediterranean and Australia. "Our job is to survey the seabed where the oil companies plan to build underwater installations. With HUGIN's precision measurements, we can give the oil companies detailed information about the seabed and conditions there," states Alleman.
In addition to significantly more accurate mapping facilities, the autonomous vessel operates considerably faster.
"What it used to take two to three weeks to survey, we do in five days with HUGIN. This helps to increase the efficiency of development projects and seabed installations," continues Dave Alleman who is responsible for the procurement of the HUGIN 4500.
C & C Technologies also uses the vessels to inspect subsea installations once they are in place. The Alleman brothers are convinced this will be a growth area in the years ahead.
C & C Technologies has cooperated with Kongsberg Maritime on the development of the HUGIN 4500. Pete and Dave Alleman have been in Horten this autumn to test and pick up C & C's third HUGIN. To make it easier for the customer to maintain the vessel, Kongsberg Maritime invited the brothers to take part in the setting up and testing.
"Together, we have just conducted a 48-hour test in the waters outside Horten. After we corrected the balance of the ballast, the vessel worked perfectly," points out Karstein Vestgård, manager of the AUV department at Kongsberg Maritime.
Not only can the new HUGIN AUV 4500 dive 1.5 kilometres further down to survey the seabed at a depth of 4500 m, the technology has also been further improved.
"We have extended battery capacity by 30 per cent and installed more advanced sonar and echo sounder systems that feature higher resolution and more precise measurements."
Altogether, HUGIN has surveyed a distance of 120,000 kilometres of seabed for offshore survey companies. That is equivalent to sailing around the world at the equator about three times over! Vestgård is confident that oceanography and environmental surveillance will be new and important markets for HUGIN, with special emphasis on the High North.
"One important step in the development of HUGIN is that it is geared towards several applications and markets, including military and commercial activities alike. These two markets are in a win-win situation due to continuous further development and improvements of the product," explains Vestgård.