Mer et marine: Ifremer & ECA Group partner for the development of a 6000m depth AUV

Monday, December 11 2017
The family of underwater robots of Ifremer is about to grow by welcoming soon with a drone capable of reach depths up to 6000 meters, developed by ECA Group.

Published on Mer et Marine, December 2017.

Read the PDF file (French)

Written by Caroline Britz

There was nothing on the shelf, with the exception of an American machine specialized in cartography. To complement the work of the Victor 6000 (teleoperated cable) and Nautile 6000 (autonomous and inhabited by three people), Ifremer works to develop an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), a drone capable of performing a number operations in addition to conventional mapping operations.

"By approaching the bottom at low speed, and even stationary, he will be able to accurately recognize the sites and will make very accurate photographs," adds Jan Opderbecke, head of the underwater systems unit at Ifremer de La Seyne-sur-Mer, near Toulon.

1 hour 30 to reach 6000 meters

Identification of underwater areas, natural emissions and deposits of raw materials ... The diversity of its onboard sensors will delight scientists as well as industrialists looking for new sites to exploit. It will take the drone 1:30 to go down to 6000 meters depth and as much time come back to the surface. Its high onboard power (lithium ion battery 30 kW / h) will power a host of sensors and measuring instruments.

This highly anticipated machine in the field of exploration in mineral resources will complement existing submarine robots able to dive up to 3000 meters specialized in mapping activities.

Delivered in 2019

The 4.5-meter long machine for a fully-equipped 3-ton mass is expected to be delivered in Ifremer in 2019 for a first dive scheduled for the second half of 2019. The robot would also interest other nations associated with the Coral project.

Launched in 2016, the latter was financed with 8 million euros is supported by the Toulon company ECA Group.

Read more about : Ifremer has chosen ECA Group to develop an innovative ultra-deep Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) for survey and inspection

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