MacArtney Underwater Technology said that the FOCUS 3 ROTV system will soon be leaving its headquarters in Esbjerg, Denmark for the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at the University of Washington.
The FOCUS 3 represents the 3rd generation of FOCUS vehicles in the MacArtney ROTV family, all designed, developed and manufactured by the Esbjerg-based company.
The design philosophy of the FOCUS 3 system is to provide a robust, easy-to-use, accurate, steerable, open and flexible instrumentation platform that can be deployed for a wide variety of underwater data acquisition and inspection applications.
APL aims to deploy the FOCUS 3 in order to develop and test new methods for UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) detection and classification. Traditional UXO detection methods have detected small variances in the magnetic field strength of the seabed. These changes in the magnetic field could typically indicate that metallic objects like shells, mortars or naval mines were present – entombed beneath the surface. In the past magnetometers have been deployed in various configurations and on a variety of platforms.
More recent detection methods have included the use of sound – as used for many years in the mapping of subsurface sediment layers – but now APL with funding from the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) has taken this a stage further. By not only having the ability to detect the object but by also providing high-resolution imaging, spectral response, and in the cases of UXOs, the accurate position of the object using sonar technology.