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Lockheed Martin has selected SeaRobotics Corporation to provide equipment for its Marlin Mk3 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

Under the terms of the agreement, SeaRobotics will serve as the original equipment manufacturer for the new AUV.

Marlin Mk3 has been designed for survey and inspection applications such as pipeline inspection, deepwater survey, and life of field support services for oil and gas in depths up to 4,000 meters.

The vehicle can also be upgraded to fix sensor packages including multi-beam, side scan, 3D, sub-bottom profiler, and synthetic aperture sonars, as well as high resolution video, still photo, and laser profilers, enabling advanced autonomous data acquisition, processing, analysis and response.

"Lockheed Martin’s Marlin Mk3 allows offshore service providers to take on a wider range of deepwater survey and inspection operations than other AUVs."

SeaRobotics president Don Darling said: "Lockheed Martin’s extensive AUV development expertise, coupled with SeaRobotics’ comprehensive commercial design, manufacturing, and offshore support capabilities, forms a team that is fully capable of delivering Marlin’s game-changing technology to commercial markets."

The Marlin Mk3 is equipped with 44kWh battery capacity which will enable it function up to 24 hours besides an operational range greater than 100km before recharging is required.

Lockheed Martin Mission and Unmanned Systems vice-president Rich Holmberg said: "Lockheed Martin’s Marlin Mk3 allows offshore service providers to take on a wider range of deepwater survey and inspection operations than other AUVs, and its plug and play design enables rapid adoption of new sensor, navigation, communication, and energy technologies.

"Lockheed Martin has over 20 years of experience in deploying innovative AUV solutions and the Marlin Mk3 takes these unmanned solutions to the next level."


Image: The 4000 meter depth-rated Marlin Mk3 autonomous underwater vehicle system is designed for survey and inspection in commercial markets. Photo: © 2015 Lockheed Martin Corporation.