Cellula Robotics has been given a go-ahead for the next phase of a contract under which the Canadian company will develop and build a long-range unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).
Known as Solus-LR, the UUV will incorporate a fuel cell power pack and suction anchor. It should have a target range of 2000 kilometers and it is designed to stay submerged for multi-month missions.
The phase 3 contract was approved by Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) Program.
Eric Jackson, president of Cellula, said: “This S&T program will showcase Cellula’s advanced UUV research and development, combining traditional technologies with innovative power and anchoring solutions. With Solus-LR able to travel for thousands of kilometers, port to port missions will become a feasible lower-cost alternative to vessel-based operations.”
Cellula has recently completed the Solus-LR preliminary design review and is proceeding with the critical design phase. Technology and lessons learnt from the previously announced Fuel Cell and Suction Anchor phases will be further developed and implemented in this project.
The design phase will continue into early 2019 followed by the build and factory testing. Sea trials and a capabilities demonstration in Indian Arm, British Columbia, will be concluded by April 2020.