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    Boeing demonstrates AUV

    Vessel & ROV News // November 22, 2002
    The Boeing Company and the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) have announced the successful completion of more than two weeks of demonstrations of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) system, setting the stage for performing commercial surveys forthe world's oil and gas industry.

    Operations were conducted aboard the survey ship USS Pathfinder (T-AGS 60) in the Gulf of Mexico. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), testing demonstrated safe and efficient AUV launch, recovery and deck handling equipment andmethodologies, which optimize the effectiveness of military and commercial ocean survey operations.

    "The demonstration's success was a result of excellent teamwork between the Boeing team and the highly capable and professional NAVOCEANO crew," said Dan Jones, Boeing director of advanced information systems for Space and Intelligence Systems at Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems.

    Designed to operate at depths of up to 10,000ft, the AUV can autonomously perform survey missions without the need for an umbilical for towing or data transmission.

    Boeing claims AUV systems offer significantly faster surveys in deep water than traditional towed survey systems, as well as improved stability and enhanced navigational accuracy for higher data quality. In addition, an AUV can be mobilized onto a ship in less than 24 hours.

    The new AUV system, developed under a partnership consisting of Boeing, Fugro GeoServices and Oceaneering International, addresses the need for cost effective deepwater survey for the oil and gas industry.

    The AUV provides faster and less expensive surveys in deepwater, giving the oil and gas industry better data quality at a significant cost savings. The system is designed to be easily transportable and does not require any special type of vessel for launch and recovery.

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