PLANT

Kraken gets $1.47M funding for underwater robotics

NRC-IRAP contribution will help develop a technology demonstration platform.


DEDAVE AUV equipped with Kraken’s AquaPix MINSAS-60 Synthetic Aperture Sonar.
Photo: Kraken

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. is getting $1,470,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to support its underwater robotics program.

The marine technology company based in St. John’s, NL will use the non-refundable contribution to develop a technology demonstration platform.

Phase 1 will use the Fraunhofer Institute’s DEDAVE Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) as the base platform.

The Fraunhofer Society is a German research organization based in Munich with 67 institutes across the country. There are also seven centres in the US.

Kraken says the AUV will be enhanced with hydrodynamic, control system and payload upgrades.

The company projects fast growth in the global AUV market – from US$600 million in 2015 to over $2 billion by 2020 – driven by increasing demand from military, commercial and scientific research applications.

Significant growth is expected in the commercial sector, predominately from oil and gas operators and there is interest in the technology from the offshore renewable energy sector for inspection of underwater assets.

The DEDAVE’s current primary payload is Kraken’s 6000m depth-rated AquaPix MINSAS-60 Synthetic Aperture Sonar. It will be upgraded to a MINSAS-120 that will increase the area coverage rate to 2 square-kilometres per hour at 3 cm x 3 cm resolution.

Adding Kraken’s RTSAS and SoundView geo-referencing software will provide onboard, real-time sonar data processing, image mosaicking and on-the-fly 3D seabed mapping.

A new underwater laser scanner will also be integrated to provide sub-millimetre resolution and full-colour, georeferenced 3D point clouds.

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