|Bluefin Robotics tripled the depth capacity on one of its Bluefin-21 AUVs, like the one shown here. The AUV, delivered to Phoenix International Holdings, can now operate in depths up to 4,500 m, or nearly 15,000 ft. (Photo courtesy Bluefin Robotics)|
Bluefin Robotics has completed a depth upgrade on a Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for subsea services company Phoenix International Holdings, increasing the AUVs depth capability from 1,500 m to 4,500 m (4,921 ft to 14,764 ft). The Phoenix AUV is equipped with field-swappable acoustic and optical payloads. The acoustic payload section can concurrently operate a Reson 7125 multibeam (400kHz), Edgetech 2200-M side scan sonar (120/410 kHz), and Edgetech DW2-16 sub-bottom profiler (2-16 kHz) on 20-hour dives at speeds up to 3.5 knots. The optical payload section can collect high-resolution black and white imagery up to 3 frames per second using a Prosilica GE1900 camera system with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The AUV can be shipped by air freight to deploy on vessels of opportunity. The average loadout specifications, which include the AUV, mission support equipment, and lithium ion batteries, consist of 20 pieces totaling 10,000 lbs.