A Newfoundland and Labrador-based robotics firm has landed an enormous contract to provide the Danish and Polish navy with minehunting sonar gear.
Kraken Robotics Inc. signed the deal Tuesday with the Danish Ministry of Defence, Acquisition and Logistics Group, value roughly $36 million.
“The system that we’ll be supplying to each the Danish and Polish navy is primarily our Katfish … which is an clever, towed underwater artificial sonar system particularly designed for high-resolution imaging of the seabed,” Dave Shea, Kraken’s senior vice-president of engineering, informed CBC Radio’s The Broadcast.
“So what they will be utilizing it for is a minehunting system.”
Shea mentioned the Katfish might be hooked up to remotely operated unmanned floor vessels, managed from a mom ship.
These vessels will tow the Kraken expertise by way of areas of water the place mines could also be positioned alongside the seabed, and beam again real-time information to the ship the place naval officers can then establish mines. One other robotic with a digital camera can then be despatched to assemble photographs and resolve on the subsequent step.
Shea mentioned the Katfish streamlines a earlier course of that has been in place within the Danish navy for greater than 25 years.
“They’d have needed to do two completely different passes on an object. They’d do one go to do a detection, then they might return once more with the next frequency system or at a better vary to do a classification … and so they you undergo an identification part the place you set a digital camera or a diver down on that object,” he mentioned.
Kraken’s merchandise will go on board Danish and Polish minehunters. (Kraken Robotics)
“The benefit of our expertise is the decision is so excessive … we are able to really do detection, classification and identification all in a single go, so it would save them a big period of time and power which is actually vital in these kinds of operations.”
To land the contract, Mount Pearl-based Kraken competed with main billion-dollar defence corporations throughout Europe and america.
Shea mentioned it wasn’t only a bid on a contract to provide expertise; slightly, the corporate additionally needed to undergo a consumer analysis the place the Danish navy despatched officers to each bidder to see first-hand how the expertise really works.
In the long run, there have been a couple of key promoting factors that gained Kraken the bid, Shea mentioned in an interview.
Kraken Robotics Inc. gained a $36-million contract with the Danish and Polish navy to provide its sonar expertise to be used in mine searching. (Kraken Robotics)
“One particularly is our autonomous launch and restoration system, which is in-built Halifax,” mentioned Shea. “They’d really must put sailors onto the boat to launch the tow physique, after which take the sailors off the boat to ship the unmanned minehunter into the mine subject.”
The method would then repeat in reverse, bringing with it excessive threat to sailors and the gear throughout every load and offload, Shea mentioned.
The method additionally means issues now are safer, extra environment friendly and cost-effective, Shea mentioned, including the contract permits Kraken to develop as an organization.
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