Germany Funds AUV Development
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is providing €12 million as part of the Maritime Research Program for the development of a novel autonomous submersible robotics system that will enable autonomous monitoring of underwater installations in the deep sea with a significantly reduced carbon footprint, without the need for costly support vessels. The funding decision was announced to the nine participants in the CIAM (Cooperative Development of a Comprehensive Integrated Autonomous Underwater Monitoring Solution) project.
The system will monitor underwater assets and infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines, hydrogen lines, renewable energy power cables, and telecommunications cables, and help prevent damage to these assets.
Governments and businesses worldwide see the oceans as a driver of future economic development with
great potential for innovation and economic growth. AUVs are an important component of expected future market developments for a variety of underwater applications.
The CIAM project aims to solve a key problem of unmanned submersible vehicles: namely, that AUVs have so far required large, costly support vessels, in addition to high risks associated with flooding the AUVs and retrieving them from the sea again. The CIAM approach aims to solve these challenges with a new class of unmanned submersible robotic systems controlled by artificial intelligence that will enable long mission durations and ranges and fully autonomous coast-to-coast and deep-sea operations while still being relatively light.