TECHNOLOGIES CASE STUDY: SBRI/NERC/DSTL
The innovation behind the Indagatus vessel provides a substantial foothold for further development and the team have used the brief set forward by the client to focus on several key aspects of development over the course of the project. The Indagatus UMV project concept was started by Intrepid Minds Ltd six months ago with the core focus of providing a suitable, scalable platform for research projects over the next 5-10 years.
The concept takes existing commercial technology, off the shelf products and specific, targeted pieces of development to form a vessel that can operate in a multitude of water conditions and with a range of scientific or defence applications.
Indagatus leverages on the point that there is an abundance of technology already available and that the technology requires a rugged, robust and reliable long endurance marine solution. Intrepid Minds believes that the product being developed as Indagatus is able to take the flexibility required from two separate organisations as NERC and DSTL and combine their needs into a single, multi-use platform.
Indagatus is based on current manned high performance marine technology, taking a large proportion of the developmental costs and risk away from the product. This technology has been redesigned where necessary to contain a full suite of command and control, sensor, navigational, communication and propulsion technologies. The inter-changeability between the technologies is only limited by the space within the 'core' of the vessel, however its scalability does allows for greater pay loads should the need arise.
Intrepid Minds is a research and development company the objective of which is to produce innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges of the world. They operate in four spheres:
1. Vehicular Technologies,
2. Social Sciences,
4. Infrastructure & Border Management.
The company works in partnership and in its own right completing R&D as well as a multitude of services.
HOME JOURNAL - HOME NEWS 07 Mar 2013
A project to develop ocean-going robotic vehicles that will carry out sustained marine research over long periods has awarded a contract to Intrepid Minds Ltd under the UK Government-backed Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).
The SBRI competition has awarded the three month, first phase contract to Intrepid Minds Ltd to assess the viability of rugged, robust and reliable long-endurance marine unmanned surface vehicles. The vehicles, which are similar to marine gliders, but which do not operate at depth, will gather data from the ocean over periods of several months in support of UK marine scientific research.
The project brief highlights the fact that a wide range of sensors now exists to take measurements on the ocean surface, satellite navigation tools and communications for command and control, and for data transfer to shore, are readily available, and there are a number of feasible technologies available to provide the energy necessary for long deployment.
The successful companies are: MOST Ltd; Blue Bear Ltd; the University of Aberystwyth, Intrepid Minds Limited and ASV Ltd.
The tendering process was coordinated by the Marine Autonomous and Robotics Systems (MARS) facility based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Technology Strategy Board.
The year long second phase of the Long Endurance Marine Unmanned Surface Vehicles project will develop prototypes. To demonstrate capability and impact, these would be used alongside already funded research projects such as the FASTNEt (Fluxes Across Sloping Topography of the North East Atlantic), which was developed in response to a call for proposals to deliver the NERC Ocean Shelf Edge Exchange Research Programme.
Spokesperson and managing director of Intrepid Minds Ltd, Adam Smith said: “Winning an award for R&D funding is always competitive, especially in light of the standard of technology and build quality required to maintain a vessel autonomously for such a long period of time. The programme we have entered into with our product, Indagatus, highlights the company’s commitment to this field of marine vessel development and delivering on the art of the possible.”
The SBRI programme, which is championed by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, is designed to use the power of government procurement to drive innovation. It provides for innovative companies to engage with the public sector to solve specific problems. Competitions for new technologies and ideas are run on specific topics and aim to engage a broad range of organisations. SBRI enables the public sector to engage with industry during the early stages of development, supporting projects through the stages of feasibility and prototyping.
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