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ISE Explorer

A Modular AUV:

Explorer Family

In 2001, ISE began development of a modular AUV known as Explorer. This design is based on the successful ARCS AUV design, which had a 22 year operating life. The first of the Explorer vehicles was delivered to the French research agency, IFREMER, in February 2004. In 2004, vehicles were also ordered by the University of Southern Mississippi and the Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 2005, IFREMER ordered a 2nd vehicle and the University of Bremen placed an order for a 5000 m Explorer AUV in March 2006. The experience in the marine science setting has been excellent with high availability and low operating costs.

The modularity of the Explorer AUV is optimized for longevity and adaptation to new requirements. The cylindrical pressure hull and the wet payload fairing are modular and can be lengthened or shortened. Equipment bays in the dry, aluminium pressure hull can accept 19” racks without repackaging. The 69 cm diameter wet payload bays can accommodate a wide range of side scan sonars, multi-beam echo sounders as well as the range of water column instrumentation needed. Access to vehicle control software is provided to permit the user to undertake new equipment integration. Recorded data is offloaded through a high speed Ethernet port on the hull. A separate port is provided for charging.

A high quality Inertial Navigation System aided by a Doppler Velocity Log is provided to locate the seabed data. Positioning is with GPS and USBL. To obtain a GPS fix in sea state, the vehicle has an optional telescoping mast which houses the GPS antenna, other antennae and the strobe. At full extent, the mast is 1.1 meter above the hull. It automatically retracts on diving.

Principal Characteristics
Length 4.5 m to 6.0 m
Hull Diameter 0.69 m
Dry Weight 750 to 1250 kg
Working Range 120 km at 1.5 m/s with 75-Watt payload.
Range can be increased to 240 km with 2nd battery module
Maximum Depth 300, 1000, 3000 or 5000 meters
Speed Range 0.5 to 2.5 meters per second
Power Source 1.2 – 24 kWh Lithium Ion battery
Control Computer Rack mount compactPCI system
Hydroplanes 3 planes. 2 foreplanes optional
Navigation IxSea Fibre-Optic or Ring Laser Gyro INU
Velocity Sensor RDI Workhorse 300 or 600 kHz DVL
Positioning Motorola GPS antenna on fixed or telescoping mast
USBL transponder
Depth Sensor Paroscientific Digiquartz transducer
Altitude Sensor KSM 675 kHz Digital Altimeter
Acoustic Communications ORCA MATS 200 or LinkQuest UMW4000
Radio Telemetry  900 or 2400 MHz radio, Iridium satellite communications
Payload Capacity  Without removing trim lead – 200 kg
Emergency Equipment   ORE LXT Transponder locater, Novatech Strobe,
RF Radio  Beacon

Download the datasheet or view the video.