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Kongsberg Maritime is to deliver two Sounder USVs and two AUVs for the Institute of Marine Research. The delivery includes an innovative new system for onboard classification and remote sensor operation
Kongsberg Maritime is to deliver two Sounder USVs and two AUVs for the Institute of Marine Research. The delivery includes an innovative new system for onboard classification and remote sensor operation

Press release -

KONGSBERG secures contract to deliver full solution for ecosystem monitoring using autonomous vessels

Kongsberg, Norway, 18th March 2021 – Kongsberg Maritime is pleased to report that it has reached an agreement to supply Norway’s Institute of Marine Research (IMR) with four autonomous vessels. The scope of supply includes two Kongsberg Maritime Sounder USVs (Unmanned Surface Vehicles) and two KONGSBERG AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles), which will form the practical basis of the institute’s long-term strategy to develop the monitoring and management of marine environments and resources.

The four autonomous vessels will be equipped with KONGSBERG’s new Blue Insight, a cloud-based ecosystem designed to facilitate remote instrument operation, data visualisation and smart management of oceanographic and meteorological data. Infrastructure for automated classification of fish through machine learning is a key feature of the delivery, consolidating the long-running partnership between KONGSBERG and the IMR towards the goal of implementing seagoing drones for ecosystem management.

The KONGSBERG AUVs are scheduled for delivery this year, with the USVs following in the late summer/early autumn of 2022. The AUVs are depth-rated to 1,500m and are equipped with a powerful payload for environmental monitoring and seabed mapping. The IMR USVs will be equipped with a full EK80 wideband system accommodating ADCP functionality, similar to the setup on their existing research vessels. Importantly, control and navigation of both AUVs and the Sounder USVs can be handled just by a single interface. The comprehensive overview provided by this fleet management capability enables interoperability between all assets and reduces in-mission complexity.

This integrated autonomous survey solution is the first to merge AUV and USV operations, and the investment testifies both to the IMR’s future- and sustainability-focused ambitions and to its faith in KONGSBERG’s ability to supply the most advanced autonomous craft.

As one of the largest marine research institutes in Europe, the IMR is committed to promoting sustainable practices at sea, and digitalisation is a cornerstone of this policy. Stimulus programmes introduced last year to facilitate remote working during and after the pandemic have accelerated the institute’s wholesale adoption of high-tech digital solutions, supported by a substantial digital investment by Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, in addition to external research grants.

“As we embark on the next stage in this project, we are happy to do so alongside our trusted and long-term partner Kongsberg Maritime,” says the IMR’s CEO, Sissel Rogne. “We are seeing a wide range of changes in our coastal and ocean ecosystems – and these changes happen fast. In response to this, we must streamline and increase our management efforts. To obtain this we need innovative and reliable partners, and the cooperation with Kongsberg Maritime is therefore vital to us. Their USVs and AUVs will initially work alongside our traditional research vessels in an ‘armada strategy,’ but will subsequently operate more independently as we expand our plans.”

“We’re very pleased to have secured this contract with the IMR,” adds Tonny Algrøy, Sales Director, Ocean Science, Kongsberg Maritime. “This delivery builds upon decades of collaborative work with the IMR to create innovative solutions for ocean ecosystem monitoring, and the addition of smart platforms plus a new E-infrastructure solution is a logical next step in this shared history.”

For further information, please contact:

Gunvor Hatling Midtbø, VP Communication
Kongsberg Maritime
Tel: +47 9921 4209
gunvor.hatling.midtbo@km.kongsberg.com

David Pugh
Saltwater Stone
Tel: +44 (0)1202 669244
d.pugh@saltwater-stone.com

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About Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime is a global marine technology company providing innovative and reliable ‘Full Picture’ technology solutions for all marine industry sectors including merchant, offshore, cruise, subsea and naval. Headquartered in Kongsberg, Norway, Kongsberg Maritime has manufacturing, sales and service facilities in 34 countries.

Kongsberg Maritime solutions cover all aspects of marine automation, safety, manoeuvring, navigation, and dynamic positioning as well as energy management, deck handling and propulsion systems, and ship design services. Subsea solutions include single and multibeam echo sounders, sonars, AUV and USV, underwater navigation and communication systems.

Training courses at locations globally, LNG solutions, information management, position reference systems and technology for seismic and drilling operations are also part of the company’s diverse technology portfolio. Additionally, Kongsberg Maritime provides services within EIT (Electro, Instrument & Telecom) engineering and system integration, on an EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) basis.

Kongsberg Maritime is part of Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG), an international, knowledge-based group that celebrated 200 years in business during 2014. KONGSBERG supplies high-technology systems and solutions to customers in the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine, and the defence and aerospace industries.

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