Global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market – Technological Advances Drives Growth | Technavio

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AUV–Technavio’s latest market research report on the global
autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) market
provides an
analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market
outlook from 2017-2021. Technavio
defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to
significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.

Technavio expects that the global AUV market will post a CAGR of more
than 12% during the forecast period. Until recently, AUVs had limited
applications, but developments in related technologies have greatly
enhanced the application of such platforms.

According to Moutushi Saha, a lead analyst at Technavio for defense
research, “Improvements in processing capabilities, propulsion
technology, design, and endurance have enabled increased adoption of
AUVs for a variety of applications. For instance, the oil and gas
industry is deploying AUVs extensively for inspection and light
intervention applications.”

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The top three emerging market trends driving the global
AUV market
according to Technavio research analysts are:

  • Incorporation of new algorithm and metrics
  • Development of bio-inspired solar-powered AUVs
  • Developments in Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT)

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Incorporation of new algorithm and metrics

Energy efficiency is a crucial parameter for AUVs, especially for those
used in oceanographic studies. Underwater monitoring applications
typically call for greater endurance, which can be facilitated by
improving the battery life. Often, AUVs are exposed to disturbances,
such as strong water currents, which cause them to lose their battery
power while determining alternative trajectories. This, in turn, leads
to reduced endurance. Thus, to improve the energy efficiency of AUVs, a
new algorithm was proposed by the researchers at Oregon State University
in July 2017. The algorithm helps the vehicles to decide if an alternate
path is optimum by comparing multiple alternate paths against certain
metrics in the event of environmental disturbances. The concept has been
tested in a simulated environment.

“It is expected that future research will focus on the planning of
informative path and multivehicle situation. The former will involve the
collection of information about the marine environment, which the
algorithm can use at a later stage for energy-efficient route planning.
A multivehicle situation will enable the sharing of information between
multiple vehicles to achieve a low shared energy cost. Such developments
are expected to affect the market during the forecast period,”

Development of bio-inspired solar-powered AUVs

The initial solar autonomous underwater vehicle (SAUV) was developed
under the RiverNet project initiated by San Diego State University
(SDSU). It involved the designing of sensor systems to facilitate
long-term monitoring of coastal and harbor regions. The SAUV was used in
monitoring contaminant spills and natural events such as earthquakes and
volcanoes and supporting reconnaissance operations for defense and
homeland security applications. Subsequently, an improved version of the
SAUV called the SUAV II was developed, which offers improved endurance
by harnessing solar power through a rechargeable lithium hydride
battery. Unlike other AUVs, which require frequent removal from the
water for battery recharging, SUAV II can stay undersea for 30 days. It
is expected that such developments will yield solar-powered AUVs with
improved maneuverability.

Developments in Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT)

Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that encompasses a group of
devices that automatically exchange information via the internet. The
concept has greatly enhanced the autonomy of devices to communicate with
each other. This concept is being further extended to underwater devices
such as AUVs. It is called The Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT) and
is in its nascent stage. It involves a group of underwater vehicles and
sensors communicating with each other and with networks over the surface
of water. This will improve the efficiency of tasks such as repair and
monitoring and mitigate the need for human intervention.

For instance, Subsea Internet of Things (SIoT) (coined by WFS
Technologies, a marine industries technology specialist) is a network of
wireless sensors and devices that can provide actionable intelligence.
The network components would deploy alternative technologies like very
low frequency (VLF) and low frequency (LF) for undersea communication.
The SIoT data transmission layer would be through the water or through
the water-air boundary. Similar to Bluetooth, WFS has devised a
technology called Seatooth, which deploys low frequency radio waves (1
Hz to 2.485 GHz) for subsea communication.

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