Thuwal — King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) announced its collaboration with Ocean Aero. Ocean Aero is a manufacturer of AUSVs, Autonomous ocean-going Underwater and Surface Vehicles.
Triton Generation III AUSV by Ocean Aero is an autonomous underwater and surface vehicle. It operates submerged and on the sea surface for long-range ocean observation and data collection missions.
Ocean Aero, along with Shelf Subsea, a service provider for the marine industry, will bring the AUSVs into Saudi Arabia, greatly enhancing KAUST research of the Red Sea.
AUSV, TRITON Generation III by Ocean Aero is the world’s first and only autonomous, environmentally-friendly ocean vehicle capable of surface and submerges operations. It is capable of long-range and deep ocean observation and data collection.
The AUSV’s solar panels and batteries allow the vehicle to wander unattended for months at sea. On the other hand, comparable AUSVs cannot explore for more than a day without direct handling.
The collaboration will help develop greater knowledge of the Red Sea and enhance KAUST’s research capabilities.
The customized AUSVs with sensors will allow KAUST Red Sea Research Center to acquire new data required for a greater understanding of the Red Sea. Particularly its unusual currents and biodiversity and their habitats.
Additionally, the collaboration will advance KAUST’s Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab capabilities. Its knowledge of marine robotics operations and design enables the development of KAUST’s autonomous underwater vehicles.
The developers at the KAUST Computer, Electrical, and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division (CEMSE) are already developing new features for autonomous vehicles.
These features integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT) into vehicles and their sensors.
KAUST has dedicated itself to Red Sea research in response to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030). The effort by the university works perfectly with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
Daniel Acevedo-Feliz said, “The KAUST-Ocean Aero collaboration is one of the multiple efforts that reflect this goal.”
Daniel Acevedo-Feliz is the director of KAUST’s Core Labs and Research Infrastructure. He added, “We are excited to have Ocean Aero as partners. Their vehicles and shared expertise will certainly advance KAUST’s project.”
Later, Ocean Aero’s CEO, Kevin Decker, said, “We are delighted to work alongside the researchers, oceanographers, and marine scientists of KAUST.”
The university has provided its scientists with a platform to delve deeper into data collection for the Red Sea. More than ever before. The researchers can now use these resources in a safer and consistently reliable environment.
Shelf Subsea’s expertise in maritime operations provides the perfect partner to operate the TRITON fleet, recovery, data processing, and maintenance.
The collaboration kicks off immediately, with several TRITONs already stationed at KAUST and more on the way.
The AUSVs and their operation training by Shelf Subsea will allow KAUST to attain meaningful knowledge of oceanography and marine biology of the Red Sea.