Cellula Awarded Next Phase of Long Range UUV Contract

Cellula Robotics Ltd. is pleased to announce the approval to proceed with phase 3 of a contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) Program. Under Phase 3, Cellula will develop and build a long range Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV).  The UUV will incorporate a fuel cell power pack and suction anchor.  Known as Solus-LR, the UUV will have a target range of 2000 km and is designed to stay submerged for multi-month missions.

Eric Jackson, President of Cellula, explains “This S&T program will showcase Cellula’s advanced UUV research and development, combining traditional technologies with innovative power and anchoring solutions.  With Solus-LR able to travel for thousands of kilometers, port to port missions will become a feasible lower-cost alternative to vessel-based operations.”

Cellula has recently completed the Solus-LR preliminary design review and is proceeding with the critical design phase.  Technology and lessons learnt from the previously announced Fuel Cell and Suction Anchor phases will be further developed and implemented in this project.

The design phase will continue into early 2019 followed by the build and factory testing.  Sea trials and a capabilities demonstration in Indian Arm, British Columbia, will be concluded by April 2020.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is the national leader in defence and security science and technology. DRDC provides the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities, the knowledge and technological advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad. For more information, please visit DRDC’s website: http://www.drdc-rddc.gc.ca. Read their press release here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2018/04/government-of-canada-announces-contract-award-to-cellula-robotics-ltd-for-research-and-development-in-support-of-sub-surface-surveillance-in-arctic.html.

All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) S&T Program

Through an investment of up to $133 million over five years, through to 2020, in the ADSA S&T Program, DND is supporting a variety of innovative research and analysis projects, the outcomes of which are expected to contribute to the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic. This research and analysis will be delivered through collaboration with other government departments, academia, industry and allies. Surveillance solutions explored and potentially selected will strengthen the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater whole-of-government awareness of safety and security issues, as well as transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic.

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Cellula to Develop an Autonomous Suction Anchor Under the All Domain Situational Awareness Science & Technology Program

Cellula Robotics Ltd. (Cellula) is pleased to announce the second phase of a contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science and Technology (S&T) Program.

In phase two, Cellula will develop and demonstrate a suction anchor designed to enable Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) to hold station for extended periods, while in a power saving, quiet mode. The suction anchor is an important enabling technology for long range, long duration AUVs that will be tasked with providing enhanced sub-surface awareness of the approaches to Canada.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is the national leader in defence and security science and technology. DRDC provides the Department of National Defence (DND), the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities, the knowledge and technological advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad. For more information, please visit DRDC’s website: www.drdc-rddc.gc.ca

All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) S&T Program. Through an investment of up to $133 million over five years, through to 2020, in the ADSA S&T Program, DND is supporting a variety of innovative research and analysis projects, the outcomes of which are expected to contribute to the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic. This research and analysis will be delivered through collaboration with other government departments, academia, industry and allies. Surveillance solutions explored and potentially selected will strengthen the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater whole-of-government awareness of safety and security issues, as well as transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic.

Cellula Awarded NOC Contract for STEMM-CCS Program

Cellula Robotics has been awarded a contract from the National Oceanography Center (NOC) in the UK.  The contract covers the design, build, testing and offshore support of a tool to place a seven meter curved pipe into the seabed.  This tool will be used to enable the controlled injection of CO2 at an instrumented test site as part of the European Union H2020 programme “Strategies for the environmental monitoring of marine carbon capture and storage” (STEMM-CCS).

This contract will leverage Cellula’s experience with seafloor geotechnical drills and remotely operated subsea equipment to provide a bespoke solution to NOC. The project is expected to be completed in Q1 2019, with a deployment in the North Sea following in early Q2.

STEMM-CCS is an ambitious multi-disciplinary project that will deliver new approaches, methodologies and tools for the safe operation of offshore carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) sites. CCS is a powerful mitigation strategy for addressing the increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. The storage of CO2 in underground reservoirs, for example in depleted oil and gas fields or aquifers, is a demonstrated technology on land and - to a more limited extent - in marine systems. STEMM-CCS will develop approaches to help ensure we select appropriate marine storage sites and can monitor them effectively, thus further increasing confidence in CCS as a viable option for reducing atmospheric CO2. For more information, please visit the programme website: www.stemm-ccs.eu

Cellula Awarded IRAP Grant Funding for AUV Development

Cellula Robotics Ltd. (Cellula) has been awarded a second round of grant funding from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

The funding will support Cellula’s ongoing AUV development program and includes open water docking and a further refinement of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms for operation in confined spaces. 

Cellula Awarded Contract under All Domain Situational Awareness Science & Technology Program

Cellula Robotics Ltd. (Cellula) is pleased to announce the award of a contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) Program. Under this contract, Cellula will develop and perform a laboratory demonstration of an innovative fuel cell, specifically designed for use on a long range autonomous underwater vehicle. The demonstration will include operating in a simulated deep water environment, supplying several hundred kilowatt hours of energy.

The fuel cell system will incorporate a novel Hydrogen Peroxide Oxygen delivery system developed for this project by Protonex Technology Corporation, a subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems. By using Hydrogen Peroxide as the reactant, both the energy density and specific energy of the fuel cell system are greatly improved for subsea applications compared to conventional systems.

This is the first of a possible three-phase program. It has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of ocean exploration, observation, and mapping by allowing users to run month-long underwater autonomous missions, eliminating the necessity and cost of surface launch/retrieval vessels or manned submarines.

Eric Jackson, President of Cellula, explains “This S&T program will speed our development of power systems poised to revolutionize autonomous underwater operations. The combination of Cellula Robotics’ subsea experience with Protonex’s long background in unmanned system power enables a completely new approach for these types of missions.”

This initial phase of the program is expected to continue for the first half of 2018. Funding for the next phases is conditional on DRDC approval of this proof of concept.

Read the DRDC press release here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2018/04/government-of-canada-announces-contract-award-to-cellula-robotics-ltd-for-research-and-development-in-support-of-sub-surface-surveillance-in-arctic.html

Protonex Technology Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) is a leading provider of advanced power solutions for portable, remote and mobile applications, applying industry leading expertise in fuel cell, solar, and intelligent power management technologies. The company produces the PTX line of special operator focused portable power managers and battery chargers, and also provides fuel cell based solutions for unmanned systems, remote sensing and communications, as well as other defence and commercial applications. For more information, please visit Protonex’s website: www.protonex.com

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is the national leader in defence and security science and technology. As part of Canada’s Department of National Defence’s science and technology organization, DRDC provides DND, the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities, the knowledge and technological advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad. For more information, please visit DRDC’s website: www.drdc-rddc.gc.ca

All Domain Situational Awareness S&T Program (ADSA)

Through an investment of up to $133 million over five years, through to 2020, in the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology program, DND is supporting a variety of innovative research and analysis projects, the outcomes of which are expected to contribute to the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic. This research and analysis will be delivered through collaboration with other government departments (OGDs), academia, industry and allies. Surveillance solutions explored and potentially selected will strengthen the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater whole-of-government awareness of safety and security issues, as well as transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic.

Successful Docking Demo for Imotus-1 HAUV

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Cellula Robotics Ltd. (Cellula) has successfully demonstrated its Imotus-1 Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. During a week of testing at local pool facility, Imotus-1 navigated using proprietary SLAM algorithms and was shown to hold station, waypoint track, maneuver around obstacles and dock to an underwater charging station. Inspection tools including point cloud map generation, high definition video, an ultrasonic thickness gauge and a light cleaning brush were also demonstrated.

The docking demonstration was sponsored by Ocean Networks Canada. This demonstration included communications between Imotus and the docking station using a blue-light modem, followed by autonomous docking.  When in the dock, Imotus received power and high bandwidth communication via a WiSub pin-less connector.

Scott McLean, Director of Ocean Networks Canada, said “this was an excellent demonstration of Canadian technology that has broad applications globally for both industry and research.  Cellula Robotics has really created an exceptional platform that we are looking forward to applying in many areas.  Demonstrating both wireless optical communications and contactless connectors for charging and high speed communications is an essential step to creating the next generation in hybrid AUV systems.”

Imotus-1 uses Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms to enable navigation, station keeping, route following and autonomous operation within confined space environments. Development of SLAM was made possible through funding from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

In the first quarter of 2018 Imotus-1 will be used in the North Sea for commercial survey and inspection work inside the structural legs of an offshore platform.

Ocean Networks Canada was established in 2007 as a major initiative of the University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada operates world-leading ocean observatories for the advancement of science and the benefit of Canada. The observatories collect data on physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the ocean over long time periods, supporting research on complex Earth processes in ways not previously possible. For more information, please visit their website: http://www.oceannetworks.ca/

NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program is Canada's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is a vital component of the NRC, a cornerstone in Canada's innovation system, regarded world-wide as one of the best programs of its kind. For more information, please visit their website: https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/irap/index.html