11-meter-long Kongsberg AUV hits the water

11-meter-long Kongsberg AUV makes a splash

Kongsberg Discovery has commenced an extensive program of sea trials for its new long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Hugin Endurance.

Measuring approximately 11 meters in length, with a diameter of 1.2 meters and weighing around 8,000 kg, Hugin Endurance is said to be the largest member of Kongsberg Discovery’s Hugin family of AUVs.

The AUV, launched in 2021, is rated to a depth of 6,000 meters and designed to facilitate independent multi-role operations spanning approximately 2,200 kilometers or 1,200 nautical miles.

HUGIN Endurance being prepared for sea trials. Source: Kongsberg

The vehicle is capable of performing geophysical, environmental, hydrographic, naval, security, critical asset inspection and search-and-rescue operations.

Kongsberg noted that the program had attracted interest both from the defense sector and commercial operators and that talks with several potential customers are ongoing for further deliveries.

Delivery of the first unit is scheduled for early 2024.

“Although we only launched the development project in 2021, thanks to our more than 30 years of experience in AUV technology we’ve been able to develop a transformative product within a very short time. To see it in the water, responding as expected, is very exciting,” said Martin Wien Fjell, President of Kongsberg Discovery. 

“The name Endurance says it all. Its long-range capability represents a huge cost benefit, with no mother ship required for launching, monitoring and recharging. For customers, being able to carry out unsupervised operations far from any support infrastructure, both reduces project costs and carbon footprint while significantly increasing the weather window. And even if a support ship is available or required, it can be assigned to other productive tasks while the HUGIN Endurance is on mission.”

According to Kongsberg, Hugin Endurance comes equipped with an array of sensors for survey campaigns, including a wide-swath high-resolution synthetic aperture sonar (HISAS 1032 Dual RX), multibeam echo sounder (EM 2040 MkII), sub-bottom profiling system, color camera, laser profiler, magnetometer and environmental sensors collecting data such as conductivity, temperature, sound and speed, and environmental sensors for methane, CO2 and O2 concentration.

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To remind, earlier this year Kongsberg announced it had established a separate business area for its robotics and sensor technology called Kongsberg Discovery, designed to map and monitor ocean space.

Kongsberg Discovery has more than a thousand employees located in Horten, Trondheim and Oslo in Norway, in addition to offices in Spain, the UK, the USA, Canada, Singapore and Malaysia.