A9-M is the configuration of ECA Group A9 men portable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, AUV, dedicated to defence and security applications.
This underwater drone has been designed to meet STANAG 1364 requirement: its acoustic and magnetic signatures are minimized in order not to trigger any underwater mines when doing the mine warfare survey.
Its main function is Mine Like Objects detection and even classification depending on environmental conditions and seabed type in particular.
A high performance compact AUV
The vehicle offers more compactness compared to mid-size AUVs and therefore more ease to deploy them in restricted operational conditions.
This robust lightweight underwater drone is easy to operate even in the harshest environmental conditions withstanding strong currents.
Man portable, it can be easily deployed using small crafts, rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) and other unmanned surface vessels (USVs). Mission preparation, deployment and recovery takes only few minutes.
The A9-M AUV is equipped with an energy unit, which has the capacity attain a maximum speed of 5kt and navigate at a nominal speed of 3kt.
This AUV can offer an endurance up to 20 hours when fitted with two energy sections.
The A9-M can be equipped with new long-range communication capabilities to facilitate the exchange of messages from the vehicle, even with no line of sight, making it possible to send basic order and mission modifications, such as a return to the launch point
High quality data for high precision cartography
A9-M provides accurate seabed survey capabilities due to its high stability which makes this AUV much less affected by waves than a surface ship or a towed system.
Thanks to its unique navigation accuracy system, outstanding data can be gathered from different sensors in a single survey. The A9-M is equipped with a Side Scan for high resolution imagery.
Thanks to internal synchronization features, all sensors are working together providing very precise localized and high quality data, obtained, especially on shadows, allowing to quickly recognize objects.
This naval drone is able to adapt its operating depth to environmental conditions and avoid blind zones which can be due to sound speed stratification.
This solution is easily transportable by road and plane for oversea missions thanks to ISO containers transportation.
Easy maintenance and wide range of sensors
The underwater vehicle was developed by incorporating modular architectural techniques, which allow easy maintenance of the vehicle.
The A9-M AUV features a range of payloads to serve multiple mission requirements. Its open design allows the integration of a wide range of sensors, among the latest generation sensors available on the market.
Other major payloads on-board the vehicle include high-definition video equipment, conductivity, temperature and density (CTD) sensor suite and environmental sensors. The vehicle is further equipped with an obstacle-avoidance system, fault and leak detection equipment, strobe light, local remote control, and emergency alerting system.
It can be optionally fitted with payloads such as an ultra-short baseline (USBL) tracking system, interferometric side-scan sonar, as well as a wide range of handling and maintenance tools.
A complete post analysis software
A9-M is a reliable solution integrating a complete operational system including a comprehensive software suite for mission planning, real time mission monitoring as well as data post processing and report generation. In compliance with standard requests, this map oriented software suite can read or generate formats such as XYF, SEG, SEGY or TRA to make the most of the data collected throughout the mission.
Advanced on-board processing allows to process the image data to extract a list of contacts which are relayed back to the command center using an advanced communication network, which can be combined with an unmanned surface vessel acting as gateway. These contacts are then reviewed by sonar operators who may task other assets for identification and possibly disposal.
- Easy to use, easy to deploy
- High-resolution side scan sonar
- Accurate inertial navigation system
- Modular architecture for easy maintenance
- Low magnetic and acoustic signature
- Search and rescue operators
- Harbour and coastal authorities
- Clearance Divers
- STANAG 1364
- Seabed survey
- Rapid area assessement
- Mine detection and classification
- Mine Counter Measures
- Search and Rescue
- Harbour / Coastal surveillance