Nov 2, 2023
Kraken Robotics announced an initial order of its AquaPix® Miniature Synthetic Aperture Sonar (MINSAS) System for HII’s new REMUS 620 Medium Class UUV. Synthetic Aperture Sonar is quickly becoming the tool of choice for mine countermeasure (MCM) operations due to its significantly increased resolution and higher area coverage rates compared to legacy side scan sonar. This order is valued at $1 million and will be fulfilled in 2024.
The end users of these new REMUS 620 systems with Kraken MINSAS are teams led by NOAA working to identify areas of deep water corals and other sensitive habitats for restoration activities following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Over the last year, Kraken has been working with NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) to integrate and deploy a MINSAS 120 system on a legacy REMUS 600 and to conduct high-resolution habitat mapping. Mapping these habitats directly through the high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) data greatly increases efficiency over traditional ROV surveys. Kraken is looking forward to supporting NOAA with their cutting-edge survey technology and methods.
This order follows Kraken’s recent onsite support team throughout the NATO REPMUS exercise in Portugal, where Kraken worked closely with three NATO navy teams (the US, UK, and Netherlands) utilizing three generations of HII’s REMUS unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). These three generations of HII UUVs were retrofitted with Kraken’s Man-Portable Synthetic Aperture Sonar (MP-SAS). The UUVs included MK18 Mod 1, REMUS 100 NGR, and REMUS 300 underwater vehicles, showing the versatility of MP-SAS and its capability to be used across multiple platforms.
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Higher resolution imagery directly correlates to the reduction of false positives by both human operators and Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) software, which through advanced capabilities provided by the collaboration of the REMUS 620 and MINSAS Synthetic Aperture Sonar reduces the number of contacts required to be verified. The result is the potential for a significantly reduced MCM timeline.
Kraken’s SAS products have been integrated into HII Unmanned Systems range of small, medium, and large AUVs, offering many opportunities to increase the Mine Hunting and MCM Capabilities of many NATO nations.
The unique system design of the MINSAS makes it an ideal match for the REMUS 620’s modular payload and battery architecture as it can provide both 60 cm and 120 cm array offerings based on the customer’s requirements, making room for additional sensor or battery payloads as needed. Kraken’s MINSAS provides out-of-the-box high-resolution, real-time onboard beamforming which supports embedded ATR, enabling smart autonomy features such as dynamic mission re-tasking based on contacts identified.