LARGO, Md., July 11 (UPI) -- Marine Services contractor Phoenix International Holdings Inc. has received its Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle following its upgrade by its maker.
The Bluefin-21 is a modular AUV with the capability of carrying multiple sensors and payloads simultaneously.
The upgrade by Bluefin Robotics extended the depth in which the vessel can operate – from 4,921 feet to more than 14,000 feet.
Phoenix International said its AUV is equipped with field-swappable acoustic and optical payloads. The acoustic payload can concurrently operate a Reson 7125 multi-beam, Edgetech 2200-M side scan sonar and Edgetech DW2-16 sub-bottom profiler on dives of up to 20 hours at speeds up to 3.5 knots.
The optical payload can collect high resolution black and white imagery up to 3 frames per second using a Prosilica GE1900 camera system.
"This highly capable and portable deep-water vehicle ships air freight to deploy on vessels of opportunity," Phoenix said. "The average loadout specifications, which include the AUV, mission support equipment, and lithium ion batteries, consist of 20 pieces totaling 10,000 lbs. and occupies 1,000 cubic feet."
Phoenix provides a full range of diving capabilities and specializes in the design and construction of underwater systems and tooling, mainly for the oil and energy industry.
"We are quite pleased with this upgraded vehicle," said Phoenix Chief Executive Officer Mike Kutzleb. "And we're ready to go to work."