LONDON, England — General Dynamics Mission Systems released the new Bluefin-12 autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle at Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019. This new vehicle builds upon the proven Bluefin autonomy and uses shared Bluefin Robotics’ core capabilities, increased mission modularity and embedded intelligence to complete users’ long-endurance, high-consequence and changing missions.
The base Bluefin-12’s extended modularity supports the integration of user-designated sensors and payloads to deliver new mission-critical capabilities. The Bluefin Robotics core autonomy with Standard Payload Interfaces (SPI), open-architecture compatibility and greater than 4,000 cubic centimeter-payload section supports the rapid integration of sensors and payload needed for the successful completion of new missions. The Bluefin-12 may be configured with an optional turnkey survey package delivering integrated survey capabilities including high-resolution sonar, environmental sensing, powerful on-board data processing and highly accurate navigation.
“The General Dynamics’ team has invested in a completely new generation of vehicles,” said Andy Rogers, vice president of undersea systems at General Dynamics Mission Systems. “The new Bluefin-12 provides superior design, high quality, excellent modularity and best-in-class reliability to deliver exceptional mission capability and range.”
“We are proud to add the Bluefin-12 to our UUV family of products and to deliver both the Bluefin-12 and Bluefin-9 UUVs to Thales in support of the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA 1778 program,” Rogers said.
ADVANCED, MISSION-READY AND MODULAR MEDIUM-CLASS UUV
The General Dynamics Bluefin™-12 is a lightweight medium-class unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) designed to deliver mission-critical data and complete high-consequence and changing missions.
The Bluefin-12 base model comes with an open and flexible payload bay, providing more than 4,000 cm3 of payload volume to allow rapid integration of mission-specific payloads. This UUV can also be configured as a turnkey system delivering integrated survey capabilities including high-resolution sonar, environmental sensing, powerful on-board data processing and highly accurate navigation. Built with robust core capabilities, increased modularity, embedded intelligence, data processing, and extended operational range, the Bluefin-12 is ready for today’s mission and prepared for tomorrow’s threats.
The optional Integrated Survey Package comes with:
- Sonardyne’s Solstice Multi-Aperture Sonar and AVTRAK 6
- HD Machine-Vision-Grade Camera and Illumination
- Sea-Bird Scientific ECO Puck
- Removable Data Storage Modular (RDSM)
- Forward-Looking Sonar
INSIDE THE BLUEFIN-12 BASE MODEL
The base model Bluefin-12 is a modular, extendible UUV able to accommodate the integration of operator designated sensors and payloads. The Bluefin Robotics Standard Payload Interfaces, open-architecture compatibility and more than 4,000 cm3 payload section supports the rapid integration of sensors and payload needed for the successful completion of new missions.
The Bluefin-12 base model also includes intelligent core capabilities including wi-fi and iridium communications, an integrated environmental sensor suite, highly accurate navigation (≤ 0.1% D.T. (CEP50), swappable rechargeable batteries, and rapid-mission turnaround times enabling up-tempo operations.
User / Mission-Based Payload and Sensor Integration Services
General Dynamics Mission Systems and Bluefin Robotics have integrated and supported more than 100 sensors and payloads across the Bluefin Robotics UUV family.
BLUEFIN-12 WITH OPTIONAL INTEGRATED SURVEY PACKAGE
The Bluefin-12 UUV with the Optional Integrated Survey Package includes the base model vehicle’s core capabilities and adds select integrations including the Sonardyne Solstice Multi-Aperture Sonar, forward-looking sonar, 1TB removable data storage module (RDSM), high-definition machine-vision camera, on-board data processing, and integrated Acoustic Communications. The Bluefin-12 with integrated Survey Package provides an advanced, modular, long-endurance, high-fidelity sonar survey vehicle able to maintain up-tempo operations or extend missions beyond the horizon.
The Bluefin-12’s integrated survey package includes:
Sonardyne Solstice Multi-Aperture Sonar (MAS) with Full Swath Bathymetry
Designed for detailed hydrographic surveys, the Solstice MAS provides high-resolution imagery even in shallow, littoral waters. Sonardyne Solstice MAS delivers a 200 meter swath range and ultra-high, along-track resolution of 0.15°. Solstice delivers undistorted, high-contrast imagery in shallow water, where other sensors fail, by using dynamic focusing while also allowing for wide swath coverage.
On-Board Data Processing: 1TB Removable Data Storage Module (RDSM) with Camera
Bluefin-12’s new RDSM acts as an independent data processor, generating, storing and delivering processed data. Operators are able to view data and conduct their post mission analysis at mission completion by directly connecting to the RDSM through a simple interface. The RDSM contains a high-definition, machine vision-grade monochrome camera that captures still images and video. Imagery is geotagged for easy review during post-mission analysis.
Terrain Following/Collision Avoidance
Bluefin-12 can integrate Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) to enable autonomous terrain following and collision avoidance, ensuring mission completion and delivery of actionable data to the operator.
Acoustic Communications: Sonardyne AVTRAK 6
HD Machine-Vision-Grade Camera and Illumination
Sea-Bird Scientific ECO Puck
Automatic Target Recognition (Optional)