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NAVDEX 2019 : Aquabotix unveiled its SwarmDivers

At NAVDEX 2019, the company Aquabotix presented its SwarmDivers for the first time. These micro-sized, unmanned surface vessels (USVs) are capable of diving and swarming. Such vehicles are designed to support various missions and can be operated in shallow water.

NAVDEX 2019 Aquabotix unveiled its SwarnDivers Aquabotix's SwarmDivers at NAVDEX 2019, UAE (Picture source : Navy Recognition)

These ultra-portable vehicles are deployable either from the shoreline, or from any platform (mobile or not). In addition to that, they can be launched and operated by a single person. No need of lots of personnel to launch, maneuver and recover the USVs. The inherent redundancy in the mission created by the system's swarm functionality makes SwarmDivers an ideal tool for hydrographic surveys, mine countermeasures, escape and evasion tactics, above and below water communications, harbor management/port security, as well as many reconnaissance missions.

A single SwarnDiver has a length of 0,75m and a weight of 1,7kg (without any extra payload). The system is capable to reach depths down to 50m with speeds going up to 4,3 knots (2,2 m/s). It has an autonomy that can go up to 2,5 hours and up to 100 vehicles can be operated at the same time as a swarm!

These USVs have 3 main missions which are the reconnaissance, the use as mine countermeasures and the creation of a security perimeter.

Regarding the reconnaissance, the SwarmDivers are equipped with lots of sensors enabling them to collect plenty of information about the topography and the composition of the water and the floors, enabling ship's crews to gather precious information, transmitted as a map. This information permits them to know how to beach-land and above all where they can do it as safe as possible.

Now, regarding the mine countermeasures, still thanks to its sensors, the SwarmDiver is capable of detecting magnetic objects, but not to identify them. If fitted with explosive, it can also be used as a weapon to destroy the potential threat that can represent such object, if it is indeed a mine.

And as for the creation of a security perimeter, the fact that these USVs work as a swarm enable them to be used as a countermeasure perimeter. Mostly useful during the night, this perimeter allows the crew to create a defensive screen around its ship so that ennemies can't reach it. Thanks to the led fitted at the top of the USV, it is capable of flashing the ennemy diver approaching the boat, disorienting him and pushing him to prefer retreating.

Live demonstration of the Aquabotix's SwarmDivers at NAVDEX 2019, UAE (Picture source : Navy Recognition)