March 22 (UPI) -- Kraken Sonar Systems' underwater robotics program is receiving funding from the Canadian government's research organization.
The monetary support is in the form of an unrefundable contribution of about $1.4 million from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, the company announced this week.
The first phase of Kracken's underwater robotics program involves development of a technology demonstration platform, using the DEDAVE autonomous underwater vehicle as the base platform. The AUV from the Fraunhofer Institute will be enhanced with hydrodynamic, control system and payload upgrades.
"By combining our advanced sensor technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms, it's our objective to deliver a cost-effective AUV solution that is truly autonomous as opposed to being simply automated," Karl Kenny, president and chief executive officer of Kracken Sonar Systems' parent company Kracken Sonar, said in a press release.
The DEDAVE UAV's current payload is primarily Kraken's 6000-meter -- nearly 1,968 feet -- depth-rated AquaPix MINSAS-60 Synthetic Aperture Sonar.
The MINSAS-60 will be upgraded to an AquaPix MINSAS-120 with embedded SAS processor and geo-referencing software to enable real-time sonar data processing, image mosaicing and on-the-fly 3D seabed mapping, the company said.