Toolbox with a modular approach

From the beginning, development of Saab's Double Eagle MCM ROVs and AUVs has been done in an evolutionary manner. New systems have, to a large extent, been built up based on the best features from previous designs.

The reason for choosing this strategy comes from the overall task to optimize reliability and secure a future proof system as well as an economical factor; in other words, provide a way for customers to have future proof systems that will minimise technology gaps and heavy ILS costs connected to complex upgrades.

The Double Eagle ROV and the AUV62 for MCM operations are solid proofs of the benefits of having a development strategy. The Double Eagle family has the possibility to gain new capabilities in a rapid and more cost effective manner than other vehicles in the same domain. An example of a feature that has become available due to the modular way of designing is autonomous behaviour or the capability to add on different sensors/effectors depending on the mission/environment. Saab has chosen a similar path as with the Double Eagle vehicles, by focusing on developing a stable platform for long range AUV missions based on its long expertise in torpedo shaped vehicles.

Starting as early as 1999 the evolution of the AUV62 has been ongoing for more than a decade. The AUV62 System is the second generation AUV system, designed for autonomous long range missions. Including equipment for Mission Planning and Post-mission Analysis as well as for Launch and Recovery, the system is easily adaptable for various different types of missions. For each kind of mission there is a certain system configuration, which is mainly defined by the sensors installed in the Payload Module of the AUV-62 vehicle. In this way you can approach MCM in a mission modular way.

AUV

Examples of modules shown in brackets [] below:

  • Mine Reconnaissance [high resolution side-looking sonar]
  • General Reconnaissance and Surveillance [high resolution side-looking sonar]
  • Seabed Mapping [bathymetric sonar]
  • Sub-bottom Mapping [sub-bottom profiler]
  • Environmental Monitoring [CTD-sensors etc]
  • Artificial Submarine Acoustic Target [transmitters and transponders]

“To change from one kind of mission to another, only the Payload Module needs to be exchanged. The AUV62-MR is a system for Mine Reconnaissance, based upon our AUV62 family of 21” diameter vehicles, which is today in operation with the Swedish Armed Forces. Each MR vehicle is equipped with a pair of Flank Array Sonars, suitable for high-resolution bottom imaging using Synthetic Aperture Processing. Including dual receiver arrays, each sonar is also able to produce interferometric data, which enables simultaneous bathymetry. This has shown to be very valuable in areas with large water depth variations, in order to project the image correctly at the true height,” says Carl-Marcus Remén, Sales Director Weapons & Sensors at Underwater Systems.

After extensive evaluation together with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, a large number of different operations have been performed by the Mine Clearance Units as well as the Amphibious and Submarine Units of the Royal Swedish Navy. During these operations, a lot of high-resolution data have been delivered to the Mine Warfare Data Center (MWDC) for further evaluation.