Mönch: ECA Group launches next generation AUV for military applications
The A18-M is more compact than its predecessors and can be easily deployed from small naval platforms, including the new generation of unmanned surface vessels (USV). In addition, the drone can adapt its operating depth to local environment's conditions, thus avoiding ‘blind zones’ caused by sound speed stratification.
Advanced embedded processing allows operators to process sonar image raw data real time and to transmit data to a command centre using a USV or UAS as a gateway.
The A18-M can also detect improvised explosive devices (IED) or pollutants and can produce high fidelity maps of the seabed, allowing for rapid environment or threat assessment. The system’s synthetic aperture sonar has a coverage rate of 5-10 times higher than a conventional side-looking sonar. Very large areas can thus be covered in relatively short periods which, coupled with superior image quality and reduced risk, makes a compelling argument for its use.
“This mid-size AUV is the top trade-off between size, weight and long endurance. Its payload capacity makes it able to host high performance sonar, such as synthetic aperture sonar, providing unprecedented detection and classification performances,” commented Léonie Delacou, the company’s AUV Product Manager.