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Navy personnel train to use autonomous subs

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Australian Navy personnel have completed an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) pilot training course designed and delivered by the Australian Maritime College.

The bespoke course was the first of its kind, designed to prepare future AUV pilots to conduct activities as part of a new Navy counter-mine project.

Conducted at HMAS Penguin’s Pittwater annex in Sydney, the course taught participants from Mine Warfare Team16 and the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic School how to handle, maintain and operate the vehicles effectively and safely.

The two-week course covered theory and practice in AUV technology, mission planning, fault-finding, launch and recovery and data analysis and optimisation.

Participants used their knowledge to conduct 15 hours of AUV missions using two Teledyne-Gavia man-portable AUVs, including one provided by AMC. They also processed and analysed the data collected during the missions.

Commanding Officer Mine Warfare Team 16 Lieutenant Commander Ryan Carmichael said the experience was invaluable for the Navy personnel.

“As part of our AUV development program, it’s important for us to maximise opportunities to engage with and learn from organisations already operating these vehicles, such as the Australian Maritime College,” Lieutenant Commander Carmichael said.

“I was really impressed at the high standard at which this course was delivered, and I am very excited to continue to build on the collaborative AUV relationship between AMC and Navy.”

The training was facilitated by AMC Search and carried out by Dr Alex Forrest, Peter King, Isak Bowden-Floyd and Supun Randeni.

AUV Facility Coordinator, Peter King, said the course had positive outcomes because it was tailored to the specific needs of the Navy personnel.

“Our team of experts designed and delivered a course to prepare the Navy’s future AUV pilots for their work. We were pleased to be able to share our expertise and help the Navy progress towards implementing AUVs operationally for counter-mine activities,” Mr King said.

AMC’s Autonomous Maritime Systems Laboratory is home to a powerful fleet of AUVs that are used on a range of academic, national interest and industry-partnered projects to explore and collect data in remote and inhospitable locations.

Published on: 19 Sep 2017