ST Conference PreviewUndersea Defence Technology 2013
UDT 2013 will take place in Hamburg, Germany, from June 18 to 20 at the CCH - Congress Center Hamburg, and will once again host experts in maritime and underwater defense technology from around the world. The exhibition floor will showcase the latest technologies presented by a wide range of companies, demonstrating how industry is responding to the challenges facing the subsea environment.
'The undersea environment is the most testing one that man encounters—and that includes space exploration,' said RAdm. Simon Williams of Clarion Events, the organizer of UDT. 'Yet the arteries that enable much of our communications and energy increasingly run beneath the sea, while the seabed itself is a crucially important source of extractive energy production.'
'One of the major reasons for the continuing success of UDT is the event's ability to respond to changes in the technology needs of the subsea industry,' said UDT Event Director Anna Campagnoli. 'Operational and budgetary factors are bringing about an increasing commonality between the civil and military sectors with benefit to all concerned. This year's UDT will reflect this important development.'
Exhibitor highlights will include Bluefin Robotics Corp. (Quincy, Massachusetts), a company that develops, builds and operates AUVs and related technologies for defense, commercial and scientific customers worldwide. Bluefin offers a full range of modular, free-flooded AUV platforms; by using a core set of building blocks, it has designed more than 50 different configurations, including more than 70 different sensors on more than 80 AUVs. Bluefin is a full AUV lifecycle provider offering research and development, technology integration, full-scale manufacturing, platform training and operations support.
Northern Diver (Wigan, England) will present a selection of its products, including its breathable lightweight wetsuit set. Favored by the U.K. Ministry of Defence, this practical suit offers quick and easy dressing/undressing, is lightweight and comfortable, and virtually undetectable underwater. The company's Clearance Diver Neoprene Drysuit is completely nonmagnetic and suitable for tasks on small mine-hunting vessels, and for the clearance of surf areas in preparation for amphibious operations.
Northern Diver has also developed ARTEMIS, a modular handheld console that can be configured as a diver target detection sonar and GPS underwater navigation aid.
VideoRay LLC (Pottstown, Pennsylvania) will be featuring its ROVs, including its P4 MIL 300S Military ROV system, which has been configured specifically to enable military, government and force-protection personnel to perform a variety of underwater inspection tasks quickly and effectively in extreme environments. The P4 MIL 300S adds Teledyne BlueView Inc. (Seattle, Washington) P900-130 2D imaging sonar to the BASE Military system—an essential upgrade for low-visibility environments where the pilot is forced to navigate and locate targets through sonar alone. The included crawler attachment allows the VideoRay ROV to latch onto ship hulls in high-current conditions for stable video inspections. All Military ROV configurations also include a manipulator arm attachment and an external camera.
The UDT conference will again run alongside the exhibition. Under the overarching theme of 'Consolidating Progress: Flexible Technologies and Innovative, Cost-Effective Solutions in the Underwater Environment,' the conference will open with a plenary session in which senior figures from the operational sphere will describe their needs and prevailing circumstances.
Vice Adm. Axel Schimpf, chief of staff, German Navy; Vice Adm. Andreas Krause, deputy commander Allied Maritime Command Naples, NATO; and RAdm. Morten Jacobsen, chief of procurement staff, Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation will take part in the opening plenary session.
On the second day of the conference, June 19, the plenary session will look into what the future holds for the world's most inhospitable environment; addressing new technologies, contested areas, emerging challenges and opportunities, and the security implications for the underwater domain.
The third-day plenary session of June 20 will open with a panel discussion looking at the hot topic of crossover technologies. Historically, the underwater arena has been dominated by anti-submarine and mine warfare, but more recently this sector has evolved to include new stakeholders, from energy to communications and maritime security. In some instances, participants in these sectors are developing concepts and capabilities that outstrip those traditionally employed by the defense community.
Following each plenary session, the conference will split into four streams, focusing on 'Future and Operational Strategic Context,' 'Innovative Solutions,' 'Flexible Technologies' and 'Advanced Research.'
Additional information on UDT is available at www.udt-global.com.
The following list of exhibitors was updated at press time: