French AUV manufacturer, SEABER, wanted to demonstrate the navigational accuracy and reliability of their latest innovation, a micro-AUV dubbed “YUCO”. Inspired during a drive through the Channel Tunnel, the team at SEABER concluded there could be no better test for their pint-sized, torpedo shaped vehicle than a fully autonomous, continuous crossing of the English Channel.
A year later, the dream of an autonomous underwater channel crossing became a reality, as YUCO was deployed from the shores of Folkestone, UK and landed less than 8 hours later, on the beach in Wissant, France. This remarkable mission performance highlighted the state-of-the-art technology packed inside YUCO’s diminutive form factor. At 1m in length and weighing just 10kg, YUCO navigates via SEABER’s INX© (Intuitive Navigation eXperience), a system based on proprietary navigation algorithms. To enhance its navigational capabilities, YUCO also comes equipped with a Water Linked, model A50 DVL, the world's smallest Doppler Velocity Log.
YUCO dazzled onlookers and surpassed all expectations by conquering the English Channel, traveling 39 km, and surfacing only four times to obtain a DGPS fix. YUCO also showed remarkable efficiency by completing the voyage with 35% of its battery capacity still remaining. YUCO’s incredible Channel crossing was the world’s first for a micro-AUV and the mission provided an opportunity to evaluate new features that will soon be available to all YUCO users.
Project Manager, Charles Goudaert, received well-deserved praise, having skillfully programmed YUCO for the underwater crossing of one of the world's most heavily trafficked shipping lanes. SEABER distributor, RS Aqua Ltd., provided vital mission support on the UK side and also produced this insightful video documentary of the event.
YUCO is a single-task AUV aimed at the oceanographic market. Integrated sensor payload options include sidescan sonar, hydrophones, CTD, and multiparameter water quality sonde. SUBSEA 20/20 proudly represents SEABER, the YUCO mico-AUV, and Water Linked navigation products in the US.
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