Solus-LR, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) fueled by a hydrogen fuel cell, has successfully completed many demonstration flights, according to Cellula Robotics Ltd.
The impressive autonomous launch of a micro-AUV from Solus-LR while submerged and in motion was shown on July 15 in Vancouver’s Indian Arm harbour. After launch, the micro-AUV surfaced and delivered a status report via Iridium satellite to Solus-command LR’s and control center. The operation was the first of its type and exhibited near-real-time communications from a submerged AUV beyond the horizon.
As part of Cellula’s ongoing work with TAS’ SeaWolf program, representatives from Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS), the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC), and the Minister of State for Trade, Vancouver-Fraserview, George Chow, observed the demonstration.
Built on a research and development project initially sponsored by DRDC under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science and Technology (S&T) Program that developed Solus-LR, the mission reinforced the capabilities and potential of a long-range, hydrogen fuel cell powered AUV designed for submerged missions greater than 2,000 kilometers.
CEO of TAS, Professor Jason Scholz said: “We were extremely impressed to see these novel technologies, particularly the hydrogen fuel-cell succeed in sea trial conditions. This type of power provides an additional viable option to diesel, battery-only and nuclear propulsion. Cellula Robotics continue to impress on the SeaWolf program, along with the contributions of our many Australian partners in the consortium. We aim to continue to develop this capability option for Defence consideration.”