The Ocean Seeker slipped into Halifax harbour largely unnoticed earlier this month. The 20-metre long aluminum catamaran is tied up at a former coast guard base in Dartmouth where it will spend the winter.
Despite the low-key arrival, Ocean Seeker represents a milestone for a major Canadian program to promote the ocean economy.
In the coming months, the former RCMP patrol vessel, owned by Kraken Robotics of St. John’s, will undergo a $2-million retrofit to carry sophisticated sonars and lasers capable of capturing detailed images of the ocean floor.
“Mapping of the nearshore and surf zone environments is vital for marine safety, security, and environmental/archeological protection. The conventional method of surveying in shallow water with manned survey vessels is challenging and often hazardous because the risk of running aground is high.
Utilizing unmanned vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) significantly reduces the risks while increasing operational efficiency. Man-portable AUVs are quickly becoming recognized as ideal shallow water survey platforms due to their ease of handling and rapid deployment. Operators can deploy several unmanned AUVs at once, which decreases both the deployment and survey time. For shallow water operations, the ideal imaging sonar must fit on a small AUV while providing the sophisticated technology needed to operate in the shallow water environment.”
On a February day in 2018, federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains made a pitch: A made-in-Canada Silicon Valley that would create thousands of jobs and usher in an unprecedented era of innovation and progress.
Five groups would be part of the nearly $1-billion supercluster program, aimed at growing the economy by $50 billion and creating 50,000 jobs over a decade.
Ocean Infinity’s Kongsberg Hugin autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) have achieved significant endurance milestones during testing thanks to new pressure tolerant batteries from Kraken Robotics.
The vehicles performed several missions to greater than 5,000 meters and an unprecedented mission of over 100 hours without recharging, while running a full survey payload. As a result, using Kraken batteries, Ocean Infinity can operate increased survey ranges to nearly 700 line-kilometers per deployment.
JSK Naval Support has announced a collaboration with marine technology company Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. to develop an enhanced autonomous underwater sonar solution.
The two companies will combine expertise in open mission systems and unmanned underwater systems to develop the solution. Utilising an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) from Kraken will give JSK’s advanced sonar technology KraitArray increased scalability and adaptability, providing an innovative capability suitable for the Canadian Navy, as well as an export solution.
Offshore equipment is built to endure, but nothing lasts forever in the extreme conditions of undersea operations. Even with protective coatings, all metal eventually corrodes in salt water, which is why offshore industries need to vigilantly inspect their assets on a regular basis.
According to Forbes, every year, GE’s Minds and Machines conference makes a lot waves in the tech industry. Whether it’s new products or features, or whole new approaches to the way people and technology interact, there’s always something worth paying attention to. This year they noted a new partnership between Kraken Robotics and Avitas Systems, a GE Venture.
Kraken discusses its growth from cutting its teeth in military markets with its synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) system to developing its own robotic systems to go after a bigger piece of the ocean survey industry and the various markets that exist therein. The company’s technology has been used to help locate some high profile historical items including test models of the Avro Arrow lost in the depths of Lake Ontario in the mid 1950s and one of the Franklin Expedition ships lost in the Canadian Arctic in 1845. The company will continue to invest in its existing technology, but is investing more in new areas including artificial intelligence. According to CEO Karl Kenny, “We have a team working on AI algorithms right now that will make our robots smarter, more autonomous, machine learning, be able to have the robot sense its environment and make decisions for itself. It can change its parameters, its speed, its sensors and payload performance.”
The New York Times discusses the search for test models of the Avro Arrow supersonic military jet from the 1950s. The search off the northern shore of Lake Ontario, in Prince Edward County, is led by OEX Recovery Group and uses the ThunderFish Alpha, an autonomous underwater vehicle equipped with a high-resolution sonar system, from Kraken Sonar.