Kongsberg Maritime subsidiary Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. (KUTI) has started full scale production of the innovative KONGSBERG Seaglider™ Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) from a new fabrication centre at its facility in Lynnwood, Washington. This follows KUTI's acquisition of the exclusive license to develop, manufacture and market the innovative Seaglider system from the University of Washington in May 2013.
Seaglider was developed at the University of Washington in Seattle with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research. It is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), or underwater glider, developed for continuous, long term measurement of oceanographic parameters. Rather than an electrically driven propeller, the vehicle uses small changes in buoyancy and wings to achieve forward motion. The system's pitch and roll are controlled using adjustable ballast, which is actually the vehicle's battery. This unique approach enables deployment for up to nine months at a time.
Since obtaining the technology license, KUTI has been establishing an engineering, production and support operation for manufacturing the KONGSBERG Seaglider, at its Lynnwood facility, which is just 12 miles north of the University of Washington. The KONGSBERG Seaglider Team has completed extensive training with the university's Seaglider Fabrication Center personnel, and is pleased to announce that full scale production of Seaglider systems has begun. In addition to manufacture of new Seaglider vehicles, the facility is also performing refurbishment or upgrade of existing systems.
"We are very happy with the progress of our underwater glider systems program," remarked Rich Patterson, General Manager Underwater Glider Systems, Kongsberg Underwater Technology Inc. "In only six months we have been able to establish a top notch engineering and production group, and we are busy fulfilling orders for several systems that will ship during the first half of the year."
As the first vehicle from the new Kongsberg Maritime business unit, Underwater Glider Systems, KONGSBERG Seaglider is capable of deploying a diverse range of sensors making it a cost effective instrument for collecting a wide variety of ocean data. This makes it a very attractive option to the many organisations that are facing the challenge of operating on smaller budgets. Kongsberg Maritime is committed to developing additional capabilities for its new AUV whilst at the same time working on transition of the technology into the commercial sector.