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Canada contracts Cellula Robotics to improve AUV fuel cells

Cellula's Imotus-1 AUV

Cellula Robotics wins government R&D contract to develop a fuel cell enabling AUVs to long-range and long-duration missions

The Government of Canada, has awarded a contract to Cellula Robotics to develop a fuel cell that will improve the ability for autonomous underwater vehicles to store sufficient energy to undertake long range and long duration missions. This contract has a total value of close to C$648,000 and is being awarded under the 2016 Innovation Call for Proposals for the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) program.

The Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) system proposed for this project offers a greater energy density than existing li-ion battery systems, and should allow AUVs to travel up to 2,000km and sustain continuous operations for more than two weeks.

“In order to address Canadian challenges we need to explore innovative made-in-Canada solutions, especially given the extensive coastline in the Arctic. Our academic institutions and innovation industry are among the best in the world and we are proud to work with them to address particularly complex surveillance issues for the Arctic,” noted Defence Minister Harjit S. Saijan.

Through an investment of close to US$133 million through to 2020, the ADSA S&T program coordinates and funds innovative research and analysis to support the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic.

Cellula already produces a range of AUVs, including the Imotus-1 – a hovering autonomous underwater vehicle (HAUV) with six degrees of freedom, capable of undertaking inspection and data acquisition missions in confined environments. The vehicles uses scanning sonars and proprietary SLAM algorithms to provide navigational control and spatially referenced survey data.

It also designs and operates a number of geotechnical and environmental equipment packages aimed at the subsea and oil and gas sectors.

Source: Government of Canada


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