Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, a pioneer in the development of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV s), has taken a step ahead with the setting up of an AUV centre for the development of AUVs on the NSTL premises, here.

NSTL Director V. Bhujanga Rao inaugurated the facility in presence of Additional Chief Construction (R & D) South, Govindarajan, and Project Director, AUV, Cmde. N. Banerjee on Wednesday.

The centre, constructed at a cost of Rs.1.67 crores, has a large assembly bay to enable assembly of large AUV s and houses a robotics lab, control and propulsion lab, testing and tuning lab along with other facilities which enable testing of all systems and technologies associated with the vehicle.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles operate without human supervision to undertake survey, surveillance, reconnaissance and similar missions in the underwater ocean environment that could revolutionise underwater exploration. Development of such vessels requires interdisciplinary efforts in the fields of hydrodynamics, control and guidance, battery technology, propulsion, materials, computation and miniature hardware, acoustic and radio communications and vision systems to operate in harsh underwater environment.

AUV development was first pioneered at NSTL with the demonstration of an AUV concept vehicle in 2003. NSTL has also taken up the challenge of development of a flat fish type AUV capable of self navigating at a speed range of 2 to 4 knots capable of diving up to a depth of 400 m to carry out a variety underwater tasks when built.