Kongsberg Underwater Technology has completed negotiations with the University of Washington’s (UW’s) Center for Commercialization for exclusive rights for the development, manufacturing and marketing of Seaglider technology.
Seaglider is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can gather information at water depths of up to 1,000m and come up to the surface to communicate data on water properties, such as temperature, salinity, and oxygen concentration back to users by satellite.
After receiving further instructions, the system can dive again to repeat the process.
UW’s School of Oceanography and Applied Physics Laboratory developed the Seaglider with funding from the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation.
Seaglider uses fixed wings and changes in buoyancy to attain both vertical and forward motion to move through the water, instead of using a propeller.
Kongsberg Underwater Technology president Tom Healy said: "Seaglider will allow us to further expand into new segments of the marine technology market."
According to the company, the use of buoyancy propulsion is very energy efficient and enables mission periods of over nine months and distances of thousands of kilometres rather than just a few days and tens of kilometres, typical of propeller-driven AUVs.
UW’s Seaglider Fabrication Center manager Fritz Stahr said Kongsberg was chosen so it can bring the technology to more people interested in understanding the ocean.
"In looking for a new commercial licensee for Seaglider, we wanted a company with broad experience in both the marine instrument and AUV businesses," Stahr said.
Image: Seaglider uses fixed wings and changes in buoyancy to attain both vertical and forward motion to move through the water. Credit: Kongsberg Maritime.