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By around the year 2020 the state of the art of unmanned Autonomous Underwater Vehicles [AUV] was undergoing the sort of phase transition that had revolutionized Unmanned Air Vehicles two decades previously. Once UAVs came to be regarded as reusable aircraft rather than expedable munitions, there was a quantum leap in the size of the vehicles and the purposes to which they were put. Now such a revolutionary phase transition is underway underwater. In both cases, the foundation was the inexorable unfolding of the gift that keeps on giving, the miracle of Moore's Law. Computers onboard the vehicles could take on greater responsibility for more complex tasks, subject to human guidance.

Unmanned Air Vehicles could receive commands and relay data [video, radar, etc] via broadband radiowave communications, to include direct satellite links. Autonomous Underwater Vehicles [AUV] can communicate for some considerable distances while submerged, via underwater accoutic communications. The challenge is the limited message size possible with this channel - text, of course, video, of course not.

For Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, the secret ingredient was the advent of onboard computers that could act in response to human guidance provided by the rather meagre channel of underwater accoutic communications. At first, undewater vehicles required onboard human presence, but over time this guidance could be provided remotely via a cable tether. Now the tether has been severed, as the computers onboard the vehicle can execute complex tasks in response to simple directions. And it is no longer neccessary to have a cable connection to relay full motion video from the briny depths. Rather, processors onboard the vehicle can provide sonar target classification and location in brief text messages relayed through underwater accoutic communications channels [eg, "climb mount niitaka", or "scratch one flat-top"].

Autonomous Uninhabited Underwater Vehicle (ANPA)
Avtonomnykh Neobitaemykh Podvodnye Apparat

Large-scale work in the field of creating marine robotic complexes and systems for various purposes has been carried out by Rubin in the interests of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation since the beginning of the 1990s. A fundamental feature of the functioning of such technical means is the ability to solve tasks in extremely aggressive conditions of the marine environment in the entire range of depths of the World Ocean in all its regions - from the southernmost latitudes to the North Pole.

At present, Rubin is working on the creation of robotic systems based on light AUVs - Juno and Amulet . A major step in the bureaus activities was the deployment in 2013 of the creation of a promising AUVA complex of the Klavaysin -2R-PM project. Complexes of heavy and superheavy AUVs are being developed that are designed to solve a number of complex complex tasks of both research and defense applications, "said Igor Vilnit, Director General of the Rubin Central Design Bureau in a June 2020 interview with TASS. According to Vilnit, the main directions in the creation of underwater robotics are to increase the autonomy of vehicles, the development and further improvement of automatic control algorithms using artificial intelligence elements, the development and production of necessary materials, devices, and components capable of working at great depths.

The first effective autonomous uninhabited vehicles appeared not in the United States or countries of Western Europe and Japan, but in the Soviet Union. And its not at all because Russia is the birthplace of elephants, but because in 1976-1979. a group of enthusiasts of underwater robotics at the laboratory of navigation and control systems under the Department of Technical Cybernetics of the Far Eastern Branch of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR under the leadership of Mikhail Ageev (1931-2005) created a unique and, in fact, the world's first deep-sea autonomous survey and search robotics complex that included ANPA L-1 with an immersion depth of 2000 m and L-2, diving for 6000 meters.

In 1980-1981 The final tests of L-1 and L-2 were conducted at the maximum working depths in the Sea of ??Japan and the Philippines were successfully carried out. Only ANPA L-2 in 1982-1989 made 157 deep dives. The device was repeatedly used in the interests of the Navy of the USSR. In 1982-1983 he conducted a survey of the K-8 nuclear submarine that sunk at a depth of 4680 m in the Bay of Biscay, in 1987 the area of ??death in the Sargass Sea of ??the SSBN K-219 (depth - more than 5000 m), in 1989 he studied the condition of the Komsomolets nuclear submarine at a depth of 1658 m in the Norwegian Sea.

Russia has been moving towards the creation of domestic AUVs capable of performing sabotage and anti-sabotage tasks since the late 1980s. The Navy of the USSR in 1989 decided to abandon the use of small submarines (such as Piranha) for sabotage and anti-sabotage missions. The military felt that such operations would be more expedient to carry out without human intervention and instruct them with robotic means. The United States is following the same path.

In fairness, it is worth noting that underwater drones are already in full use by the Russian military. Thus, the Ministry of Defense purchased the British AUU Tiger and Pantera + manufactured by Seaeye Marine for search and rescue operations. As the representative of the Black Sea Fleet, Igor Frolov, noted, the devices worked well in the exercises of the rescue forces of the fleet.

In Moscow in 2018, computer graphics were shown to the whole world - the harpsichord underwater drone (now called Poseidon): depth - 1,000 meters, speed - over 100 knots, range - up to 10,000 km, head - megaton class. The appearance of the Harpsichord-1R product resembles a torpedo of slightly increased dimensions. All main units are placed inside the cylindrical body. The head of the device is covered with a hemispherical fairing, in the stern there is a tapering unit, on which the so-called propulsion system. The length of the Harpsichord-1R is 5.8 m, the diameter of the case is 900 mm. The mass of the device in the air is 2.5 tons. In 2008, the Harpsichord-1R successfully completed state tests and was recommended for operation. After that, he worked productively in various operations in the Tatar Strait and in the Gulf of Peter the Great. For the Russian Navy, an experimental batch of three units was made.

It was decided to create a new system of this class, designed for operation by special structures of the Navy. In 2009, the Ministry of Defense formed the requirements for the new AUV and selected a developer. On May 19, 2009, an agreement was signed between the military department and the Rubin Central Marine Design Bureau. To date, the new project has been brought to the test stage at sea. The second project of an autonomous uninhabited underwater vehicle was called the Harpsichord-2R-PM. According to reports, the new development has the same goals and objectives as its predecessor. At the same time, the AUV of the second model should differ in slightly increased dimensions and a different composition of onboard equipment.

Status-6 / KanyonThe length of the Harpsichord-2R-PM ANPA reaches 6.5 m, the body diameter is 1 m. The mass is approximately 3.7 tons. The speed parameters of the device, according to various sources, are approximately equal to the characteristics of the predecessor. At the same time, the range was reduced to 50 km. The strength of the hull allows to dive to a depth of 6 km.

In the event of successful completion of the tests, the Klavaysin-2R-PM ANPA may enter the arsenal of nuclear submarines that have undergone modernization under the 949AM project. Probably, they can also be used by the special-purpose submarines BS-64 "Moscow Region" of project 09787 and K-329 "Belgorod" of project 09852.

Among AUVs there is a type that can do without batteries - gliders. They are also called underwater gliders. For the first time, the theory of their movement was presented by the outstanding American oceanologist Henry Stommel (1917-1992). The water sliders do not move under water due to propulsors, but by changing the body deflector, which leads to a change in the buoyancy of the device. At the same time, mineral oil from the ballast tank flows into an elastic container and vice versa, which leads to a change in buoyancy. This technology can dramatically reduce energy consumption, which, in turn, makes it possible to significantly increase the cruising range. Diving into the depths and emerging to the surface, aquaplaners are thus able to overcome thousands of miles in a few months. When they ascend, they transmit data on the underwater situation to satellites.

Vityaz-D Vityaz-D Vityaz-D
The first robot to reach the deepest point of the World Ocean, the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, on May 9, 2020, was the Russian autonomous uninhabited underwater vehicle (ANPA) Vityaz-D. The depth of immersion was 10,028 m. He became the fifth of the devices that ever reached the "bottom of the Earth." But, unlike the Kaiko (Japan) complexes that worked in this area in 1995 and Nereus (USA) in 2009, ours functioned completely autonomously. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov has already called this event an outstanding achievement of the Russian defense industry and science, stressing that "a new research and development elite of the defense industry complex will grow on the implementation of just such projects."

The Vityaz deep-sea UAV was created by the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering (TsKB MT) (as part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) in conjunction with the Advanced Research Foundation (FPI). The complex includes an autonomous uninhabited underwater vehicle (AUV) and a sonar bottom station (GDS). The main tactical and technical characteristics of ANPA SGP (super-deep dives): length - 5.7 m; diameter - 1.4 m; weight - 5600 kg; the maximum immersion depth is 12,000 m.

The deep submergence vehicle Vityaz-D, which explored the bottom of the Mariana Trench a month ago, performed its mission automatically according to a program the operator had installed in advance, the CEO of the Central Design Bureau of Marine Engineering Rubin, Igor Vilnit, told TASS in an interview on 10 June 2020. "First, the operator keys in a task to perform a specific mission. After submersion the vehicle begins independent operation. The data it gathers is transmitted to the operators control board via a hydroacoustic channel," Vilnit said.

Shipborne equipment maintains data exchange between the mother vessel and the bottom grab station via a hydroacoustic channel in the online mode. All components are of Russian manufacture. The Vityaz-D vehicles artificial intelligence resource enables it to steer clear of obstacles and find a way out of confined spaces.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:21:54 ZULU