By Andy Choi
Teledyne Gavia had recently delivered the Offshore Surveyor class autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to Geological Assistance and Services (GAS) of Italy.
The AUV is made up of a GeoSwath module of 500 kHz capacity and a Benthos sub-bottom profiler (SBP) from Teledyne. These two systems comprise the primary sensor module. The Gavia AUV is capable of reaching depths of 1000m and is equipped with GPS, obstacle avoidance and an acoustic communication system. It also features WLAN equipment. An AUV is essentially a robot which is sent on underwater missions without intervention from the operator.
GAS has chosen the AUV as it satisfied their requirements of a system that was flexible, gathered data of high resolution and was easy to navigate. The AUV was capable of accommodating the SBP and Swath Bathymetry payloads on a small vehicle platform. The AUV was tried on the waters off Ortana in Italy first and then on the Adriatic from the RV Odin Finder vessel. The survey data was gathered on both the trials and was of high-quality and it was observed that the Gavia AUV was particularly useful on drill rigs with a 700 m exclusion zone. The Gavia AUV is compact and is not dependent on acoustic positioning input from the base vehicle. Due to this independence it can be launched from outside the exclusion zone for a safe survey of the sea. The modular design of the AUV accommodates a number of sensors on board and hence the Gavia AUV is a versatile, complete survey solution.