Fugro Expands AUV Capabilities

Fugro has expanded its AUV fleet to include a small, deep ocean, vehicle based on a Bluefin 21. The new "Echo Mapper" AUV incorporates essentially the same mapping system as the proven larger Hugin 3000 "Echo Surveyor", including a 200kHz multibeam echo sounder, 120/410kHz side-scan sonar, and 2-16 kHz CHIRP subbottom profiler. The Echo Mapper also operates to 3,000 meters water depth.

The first commercial operation for this new "Echo Mapper" AUV is a 2,000 line-kilometer survey to provide high resolution seafloor mapping from 100 to over 900 meters water depth near Los Angeles, California, USA. The survey, now underway, will provide permitting and engineering data for a deepwater port application planned by Woodside Natural Gas, Inc.

The Echo Mapper is relatively small and lightweight so that the entire system can be shipped worldwide on commercial aircraft to be quickly available for mobilization onto local vessels of opportunity. The AUV is based in Seattle, Washington, USA.