USV provides fleet fishfinder platform

USV provides fleet fishfinder platform The use of an Unmanned Surface Vehicle to gather fishing data represents a shift in thinking for fishing fleet operation. Photo: Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime has unveiled a brand-new Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), a uniquely versatile craft designed and built to provide the highest possible standard of data acquisition.

The Sounder USV System strengthens Kongsberg’s presence in the expanding market for unmanned vessels capable of carrying out a broad range of tasks. This new USV utilises the latest technology derived from an extensive knowledge base, providing the flexibility to operate in various diverse scenarios – including as an autonomous fishfinding vehicle capable of traversing large marine areas.

A contract has been signed for delivery of a Sounder USV System for TASA, the largest fishing company in Peru. Suitably equipped for deployment in fishery applications, the multipurpose USV system is expected to become a key element in TASA’s plans to overhaul and optimise operations throughout its fleet.

The fully integrated and calibrated USV solution offers a high definition fishery sonar combined with a wideband echosounder from Simrad, operable from a laptop PC or radio control with data telemetry for remote operations.

“We are extremely proud to be collaborating with TASA for this project,” said Stian Michael Kristoffersen, Kongsberg Maritime’s product manager, USV Solutions.
“TASA is a very important customer to Kongsberg Maritime and we are very happy that the company has selected the Sounder USV System to assist in the ongoing drive for performance across its operations.”

New thinking

“TASA is an experienced user of Simrad technology from Kongsberg,” confirmed Morten Kville, Sales Manager (Simrad products), Kongsberg Maritime.

“The firm’s innovative and collaborative spirit is impressive and aligns closely with our own ambitions and principles. TASA has been quick to recognise the fact that the Sounder USV will introduce a new way of thinking to businesses in the fishery industry, and we confidently predict that it will become a pivotal tool in the evolution of sustainable fisheries all over the world.”

The Sounder USV provides TASA with an unmanned platform for conducting fish searches and highly-detailed research, and will help the company to meet its goal of becoming a world-leading company in the sphere of sustainable fishery. Following the initial delivery, Kongsberg and TASA will continue to collaborate in the operation of USVs for fishery applications.

“The fishing industry is a key industry in both Norway and Peru, and we have to work together towards the sustainability of our resource by implementing new technology like the Sounder USV. We have to monitor the ocean from the surface in real-time, and monitor the healthiness of both the ocean and the fish stock,” commented TASA’s fleet manager Dereck Zimmerman.

“Norway and Kongsberg have technology that support our operation, and with the Sounder USV we take an important step into the future of sustainable fisheries.”

The Sounder USV System is a multipurpose platform designed to work across a variety of sectors, including survey and fishery duties. It has been developed as a joint venture with Norsafe AS, chosen by Kongsberg as the project partner for its years of experience in constructing tough and durable craft for use in extreme environments.

20-day endurance

As a brand-new platform, the Sounder USV has been configured from the keel up to deliver optimal hydroacoustic data quality, efficiency and productivity. Operation of the USV is managed by Kongsberg’s K-Mate autonomous surface vehicle control system, capable of following survey patterns, autonomously following AUVs or simply tracking a mothership, the K-Mate system has been developed in partnership with FFI, the Defence Research Establishment in Norway. This provides autonomous, supervised and direct control capabilities that are compliant with the latest safety regulations and operational guidance in the USV industry.

The Sounder USV System can be equipped with a wide selection of Simrad sensors including SX90 and ES80 fishery sonars as well as Kongsberg EM2040 multibeam echosounders for mapping and HiPAP positioning and communications systems for LBL (long baseline) and AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) support. Other sensors can also be integrated, while rapid payload change can be effected as both the moon pool in the base of the hull and the 19-inch rack hardware are removable.

It is compatible with launch and recovery systems, making operation from ship or shore straightforward. With an endurance of up to 20 days at 4 knots, it enables increased productivity at a lower cost: and a worldwide support network provides owners and operators with additional peace of mind.

“More and more businesses, from many categories within the maritime industry, are starting to see the vast and comparatively untapped potential of USVs as a means of autonomously and cost-effectively harvesting enormous quantities of high-quality data,” said Stene Førsund, VP Subsea Sales, Kongsberg Maritime.

“With the highly adaptable Sounder USV System we’re poised to make the widespread availability of top-end data acquisition technology into an affordable and user-friendly reality.”

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