Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
18 Feb 19. New SwarmDiver debuts. Just a year after the launch of its original SwarmDiver product, US company Aquabotix (Stand C-026) is introducing the new SwarmDiver EDGE into its family of micro-sized underwater vehicles during NAVDEX. SwarmDivers are ultra-portable, single-person deployable micro-unmanned hybrid vehicles capable of operating in swarms on or below the water surface. The latest SwarmDiver EDGE has been designed to provide alert of threats from manned and unmanned vehicles, including militarised vehicles and hobby drones with explosives, or swimmers planting improvised explosive devices.
Utilising a swarm of SwarmDiver EDGE vehicles equipped with high-intensity lights creates a visual boundary to act as a first-line deterrent along a shoreline, around a vessel or docking area, or near any other infrastructure of interest.
According to Aquabotix, this capability allows operators to control a swarm of many vehicles remotely, and from a safe distance, while ensuring security in the face of threats from militants or terrorist groups.
The first public demonstration of SwarmDiver EDGE will take place at NAVDEX at 18.00 on Wednesday 20 February. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Feb 19. SeaGuardian stands watch. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI) is highlighting the capabilities of its SeaGuardian unmanned aerial system (UAS) on stand 03-C34. Building on the pedigree of the widely sold MQ-9B medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS, the SeaGuardian is a derivative specifically optimised for persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). The company believes that a more robust ISR capability would also allow regional forces to conduct persistent ‘overwatch’ around the Bab-el-Mandeb chokepoint and the Strait of Hormuz. With a range of 6,000-plus nautical miles, SeaGuardian boasts endurance of more than 40 hours.
“GA-ASI flew an MQ-9B for 48.2 hours on 2,721kg of fuel in May 2017,” said Jim Thomson, regional vice president of international strategic development for GA-ASI. “Providing greater endurance at lower operating cost, SeaGuardian is ideally suited to complement manned maritime patrol aircraft in performing wide-area maritime surveillance.”
Nine external hardpoints on the MQ-9B offer configurability to meet diverse mission requirements. In the basic ISR configuration, the standard SeaGuardian is equipped with an HD electro-optical/ infrared (EO/IR) sensor and a high-performance 360° multimode maritime radar to support maritime patrol and surveillance.
Capable of operating at beyond-line-of-sight ranges at altitudes more than 40,000ft and in inclement weather conditions, SeaGuardian uses EO/IR full-motion video, synthetic aperture radar imagery and ground-moving target indication outputs to identify potential threats in real time from stand-off ranges.
Furthermore, it can be equipped with a multimode maritime search radar, an inverse synthetic aperture radar capability, and an automatic identification to confer a true maritime wide-area search capability.
The MQ-9B air vehicle leverages the mature system architecture of the legacy MQ-9A and its more than two million flight hours, while incorporating enhancements that support mission capability, global industrial expertise, and its goal of achieving unfettered access to national and international airspace. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Feb 19. ECA GROUP, in collaboration with its naval architecture subsidiary MAURIC, integrates a new USV – (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) into its range of naval drones systems. The new INSPECTOR 125, based on an operational platform, is designed for high seas operations. Combining a sea-proven platform from MAURIC with a dronization kit common to the other USVs in the ECA GROUP range, the INSPECTOR 125 benefits from the latest technologies with unrivalled performances on the naval surface drone market. Designed to be unsinkable and highly shock-resistant, this USV has important payload and towing capabilities. This new generation naval surface drone is dedicated to defense and security missions such as Mine Counter Measures (MCM), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), Intelligence / Surveillance / Reconnaissance (ISR) or Forces support and protection (FSP).
INSPECTOR 125 designed on a sea proven basis – MAURIC V2 NG search and rescue crafts for SNSM
The INSPECTOR 125 is the result of a joint development between ECA and its subsidiary MAURIC. The platform is based on the V2 NG rescue boats designed by MAURIC for the S.N.S.M (Association of French Sea Rescuers). Originally developed in 2008 and modified in 2014, this craft produced in more than 20 units has proved its efficiency during search and rescue operations in the most difficult environmental conditions. Being robust and powerful, the V2 NG is particularly suitable for a new naval surface drone design.
The British Robotics Seed Fund is the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund specialising in UK-based robotics businesses. The focus of the fund is to deliver superior returns to investors by making targeted investments in a mixed basket of the most innovative and disruptive businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotics technologies in defence and other sector applications.
Automation and robotisation are beginning to drive significant productivity improvements in the global economy heralding a new industrial revolution. The fund allows investors to benefit from this exciting opportunity, whilst also delivering the extremely attractive tax reliefs offered by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). For many private investors, the amount of specialist knowledge required to assess investments in robotics is not practical and hence investing through a fund structure makes good sense.
The fund appoints expert mentors to work with each investee company to further maximise the chance of success for investors. Further details are available on request.