Kraken Robotics has been selected by the US Office of the Secretary of Defense, Comparative Test Office, to participate in a Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program in support of a US Navy Program of Record managed by the Naval Sea Systems Command, EOD Program Office.
The FCT is designed to test selected foreign technologies as evaluated by US military operators, with a view to future procurement.
Under the $0.9-million contract, Kraken will integrate its AquaPix MINSAS sensor on a man-portable autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) owned by the US Navy.
Man-portable AUVs make up the largest deployment of all AUV classes world-wide. The U.S. Navy and its allies continue to invest in man-portable AUVs, which today utilize a range of sonar technologies.
Kraken’s AquaPix MINSAS synthetic aperture sonar sensor is currently 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 this FCT contract, Kraken will optimize the MINSAS 60 sensor making it better suited for small, man-portable AUVs.
Karl Kenny, Kraken’s president and CEO said, “We are very pleased to be awarded this FCT contract as this represents a truly significant opportunity for Kraken. The competition for FCT awards is fierce and only a few projects each year that meet the strict criteria are selected. 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. We believe this initial contract will further prove our MINSAS 60 is a reasonably priced, high-performance sonar upgrade path for existing man-portable AUVs as well as new builds.”