Lockheed Martin's Marlin Mk3 AUV is on its way to production
Lockheed Martin has announced who willbuild its latest autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) – the MarlinMk3. The new vehicle boasts some impressive capabilities, includingan operational depth of up to 4,000 m (13,000 ft).
AUVs are becoming more and more capableas the years go by, and are now extremely useful underwater tools utilized for numerous applications.Back in November 2014, a SeaBED AUV was used to map more than 500,000 square meters (5.4 million sq ft) of the Antarctic, showing that seaice may be thicker than we thought. More recently, a Gavia AUV was used to study the distribution of algae on the underside of ice.
Lockheed Martin is no stranger to unmanned vehicles, and clearly understands the potential of such craft, announcingtoday that SeaRobotics will manufacture its brand new Marlin Mk3 survey andinspection AUV.
The Marlin is designed for commercialcustomers, fitted with numerous sensors that allow it to perform complex remote surveys and operations such as deepwater pipeline inspections. The Mk3 hassome impressive capabilities, being fitted with a 44 kWh battery thatlets it run for up to 24 hours. With that amount of juice,it'll be able to travel in excess of 100 km (62 miles) before arecharge is needed.
Depending on the requirements of thecustomer, the Marlin Mk3 can be outfitted with different sensor setups,giving it high-resolution video capabilities, still photos, laserprofilers and synthetic aperture sonars. It's able to collect data,and process and analyze its findings autonomously, and will work atdepths of up to 4,000 m.
It's an impressive and versatile-looking craft, and as far as Lockheed Martin is concerned, one that will changethe game when it comes to AUVs.
"Lockheed Martin's Marlin Mk3 allowsoffshore service provides to take on a wider range of deepwatersurvey and inspection operations than other AUVs, an its plug andplay design enables rapid adoption of new sensor, navigation,communication and energy technologies," says the company's RichHolmberg.
Source: Lockheed Martin