ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. has been chosen by the Pentagon to test and integrate its AquaPix MINSAS sensor into a U.S. Navy man-portable autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), the company said in a release.
Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) is designed to allow U.S. military operators to test foreign technologies, with a view toward future procurement. The Kraken FCT will be managed by Naval Sea Systems Command, EOD Program Office. The contract value is $900,000.
Man-portable AUVs make up the largest deployment of all AUV classes worldwide. The Navy and its allies continue to invest in man-portable AUVs, which utilize a range of sonar technologies.
Kraken’s AquaPix MINSAS synthetic aperture sonar sensor is offered in the MINSAS 60, 120, 180 and 240 configurations and has been traditionally integrated to medium- and large-size AUVs and towfish. As part of Kraken’s FCT contract, the company will optimize the MINSAS 60 sensor, making it better suited for small man-portable AUVs while offering a significant increase in capability and performance for the platforms.
“The competition for FCT awards is fierce and only a few projects each year that meet the strict criteria are selected,” said Karl Kenny, Kraken’s president and CEO. “An acceptable FCT project must have a high technology readiness level, which means that research and testing must have already been completed and the capability has already been proven in a setting similar to what will be encountered in real-world operations.”