U.S. Navy unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) experts needed a special buoy to house and control surveillance UUVs designed to determine the depth and underwater topography of rivers and inland waters. They found their solution from Hydronalix Inc. in Green Valley, Ariz.
Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J., announced plans Thursday to award an advanced research contract to Hydronalix to develop prototype mobile gateway buoys with integrated communications and control software. The amount of the upcoming contract was not disclosed.
These gateway buoys will be part of a Navy research project called Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) for Sustained Riverine and Littoral Assessments, which is developing covert UUVs to explore rivers, harbors, and coastal waters for military surveillance.
A gateway buoy works together with a UUV to enable the operator to track, monitor, command, and interact with the UUV remotely while the unmanned submersible is underway. This helps maintain communications with the UUV, and share information with military forces who need it.