August 16, 2022
Canada-based Cellula Robotics has announced the successful completion of several demonstration missions of a hydrogen fuel-cell powered autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), the Solus-LR. The missions were performed in Vancouver’s Indian Arm inlet on July 15, 2022.
In the mission, a micro-AUV was launched from Solus-LR while it was submerged in the water. Following the launch, the micro-AUV surfaced and transmitted a status message to Solus-LR’s command and control center via Iridium satellite. Cellula said the operation was the first of its kind, and demonstrated near real-time, over-the-horizon communications from a submerged AUV.
The demonstration included observers from Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS), the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC), Defence Science & Technology Group (DSTG Australia) and George Chow, the minister of state for trade, Vancouver-Fraserview. The observers were part of ongoing work with TAS’ SeaWolf program.
Built on a research and development project originally sponsored by DRDC under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science and Technology (S&T) Program that developed Solus-LR, the mission re-enforced the capabilities and potential of a long-range, hydrogen fuel cell powered AUV designed for submerged missions in excess of 2,000 km, Cellula said.
“We were extremely impressed to see these novel technologies, particularly the hydrogen fuel-cell, succeed in sea trial conditions,” said Jason Scholz, CEO of TAS. “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.”
For more details on Cellula Robotics, visit its website here.