Kongsberg Maritime has won a contract to provide its K-MATE autonomous surface vehicle control system to power the SEA-KIT maritime unmanned surface vehicle (USV).

The deal will also see Kongsberg provide its Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR) and SeaPath 135 with an MRU5+ for heading, attitude and positioning, as well as the AIS300 Automatic Positioning System.

Additionally, the company is expected to supply its HiPAP acoustic positioning and control system, which will supervise SEA-KIT's autonomous surface vehicle (AUV) operations.

Kongsberg noted that its K-MATE can be integrated with almost any type of vessel via an electrical interface in order to provide adaptive waypoint following for surveying and autonomous surface vehicles (AUV) activities.

It also enables the integration of sensory data for scene analysis and collision avoidance purposes.

UK-based company Hushcraft is developing SEA-KIT based on the AUV-USV concept.

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"SEA-KIT's USV will be able to conduct seafloor mapping operations, trans-ocean surveys and various other maritime tasks for months at a time without assistance."

The vessel will be able to accommodate a deployable and retrievable payload of up to 2.5t, and is set to be operated by SEA-KIT International.

SEA-KIT's USV will be able to conduct seafloor mapping operations, trans-ocean surveys and various other maritime tasks for months at a time without assistance.

It will be able to carry a Kongsberg HUGIN AUV system and its hull is designed to include several different payloads, including Kongsberg’s multibeam echo sounders such as the EM302.

SEA-KIT is set to be launched next month.

The vessel's first task will be to compete in the $7m Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a global competition that aims to advance deep-sea technologies for autonomous, fast and high-resolution ocean exploration.

The competition will be managed by the GEBCO-NF Alumni Team, which is led by alumni of Nippon Foundation / General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) training programme.