Development and demonstration of a long-endurance sea surveying autonomous unmanned vehicle
with gliding capability powered by hydrogen fuel cell
The ENDURUNS initiative is an €8.8M 4-year H2020 project comprising 18 partners from the EU and Korea which seeks to develop and demonstrate a long-endurance sea surveying autonomous unmanned vehicle with gliding capability powered by hydrogen fuel cell. The project is held by ALTUS LSA, a Hellenic company focused in the development and service provision of defense, security and innovative technology solutions.
Gliders, an AUV subclass, use small changes in their buoyancy to move like a profiling float. By using their wings, gliders can convert the vertical motion to horizontal, propelling themselves forward with very low power consumption. Hence, mission duration can be extended to months and to thousands of kilometers. However, gliders are suited for a particular set of missions involving relatively basic measurements and seabed mapping cannot be performed due to their inherent inability to cruise in a straight line. A surface support vessel is standard practice for launch and recovery of AUVs. The requirement to have a support vessel adds to the overall mission cost. Therefore higher endurance is needed in AUV platforms in order to bring mission costs down and improve the ocean exploration capability.
OnAIR partecipates for the underwater sensing payload design and control, the optimization of power usage and the on-board data processing software development.