Photo: Boxfish

Boxfish, Transmark unveil long-endurance underwater observation vehicle

New Zealand-based Boxfish Research and Norway’s Transmark Subsea are set to launch a new class of an autonomous underwater observation vehicle, said to be capable of being deployed underwater for months.

The ARV-i, which will be launched in mid-October, enables continuous monitoring of underwater assets with application to a range of offshore industries, including energy, oil and gas, offshore wind and aquaculture.

The new class incorporates Transmark Subsea’s underwater power and communication technology and features of the Boxfish ROV platform.

According to Boxfish, the vehicle offers users operational flexibility and is configurable for fully autonomous self-piloting or manual control, and can be deployed for months underwater when operating as a resident vehicle.

A proprietary subsea docking station facilitates wireless battery-charging and transfer of data from vehicle excursions, while prior programming and onboard intelligence enable the ARV-i to navigate the underwater terrain, locating and observing assets autonomously when in resident mode.

The 25kg vehicle features eight thrusters, up to six machine vision cameras, a 4K navigation camera and 17,000 lumens of lighting.

A manual piloting mode using live video or a digital environment twin is available for the ARV-i if onshore staff require direct control, Boxfish said.

Although it is an untethered solution, it can be configured with a fibre-optic connection if a higher quality video stream is required.