INDIAN HEAD, Md., 11 Nov. 2013. U.S. Navy officials are asking Hydroid Inc. in Pocasset, Mass., to repair and upgrade the Navy's fleet of MK 18 Kingfish unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), as well as to help train Navy personnel to use the unmanned submersibles.
Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division in Indian Head, Md., are awarding Hydroid a $26.2 million contract to handle the UUV work. The contract was announced Friday.
The Navy's MK 18 UUV is a variant of the Hydroid REMUS 600, which Hydroid developed originally developed through funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., to support the Navy's UUVs with extended endurance, increased payload capacity, and greater operating depth.
The REMUS 600 can dive to depths of nearly 2,000 feet, and can operate on one battery charge for as long as 24 hours. The UUV is for mine countermeasures; harbor security; debris field mapping; search and salvage; scientific sampling and mapping; hydrographic surveys; environmental monitoring; and fishery operations. REMUS is short for Remote Environmental Measuring Unit S.
The torpedo-shaped REMUS 600 UUV is nearly 13 feet long and two feet in diameter. The unit weighs 622 pounds. It has dynamic focus side look sonar (SLS), a Neil Brown conductivity and temperature sensor (CT), WET Labs beam attenuation meter (BAM) optical sensor, Imagenex 852 pencil beam sonar for obstacle avoidance, and a WET Labs ECO fluorometer and turbidity measurement sensor.
Its communications suite consists of a long baseline acoustic communications, WiFi, Iridium satellite communications, and radio modem via gateway buoy. The UUV navigates by up- and down-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler; Doppler velocity log; Kearfott inertial navigation unit; compass; and GPS.
The REMUS 600 has a modular design to meet a variety of payloads. The UUV has a series of hull sections that can be separated for vehicle reconfiguration, maintenance, and shipping. IT uses the Hydroid Vehicle Interface Program (VIP) for maintenance, checkout, mission planning, and data analysis.
On the current contract Hydroid will do the work in Pocasset, Mass., and should be finished by 2018. Hydroid is a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime AS in Kongsberg, Norway.