Kraken Sonar Inc. (“Kraken”) (TSX‐V: PNG) announces that its wholly‐owned subsidiary, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. has been awarded a non‐refundable financial contribution of $745,950 by the Research & Development Corporation (RDC) of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The funding will support development of Kraken’s ThunderFish™ Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) program. The ThunderFish™ program will combine smart sonar, laser and optical sensors, advanced pressure tolerant battery and thruster technologies and cutting edge artificial intelligence algorithms integrated onboard a cost effective 6,000 metre depth rated AUV.
Karl Kenny, President and CEO of Kraken said, “We are very grateful to RDC for their support of our efforts and appreciate their thorough review of our development program. This funding will help maintain the excellent momentum we have been building over the past two years in underwater robotics.”
“Technological innovations in sensors, high performance computing and robotics now enable next generation underwater vehicles that are highly autonomous, cost effective, light weight and easier to operate. We look forward to continuing to develop advanced marine technologies and products to meet the ever-evolving demands of our growing customer base.”
The global AUV market is experiencing an advanced rate of growth due to increasing demand in military, commercial and scientific research applications. Significant growth is expected in the commercial sector, predominately from oil and gas operators – despite the volatility of oil prices. There has also been substantial interest in the technology from the offshore renewable energy sector, as operators have begun to understand the cost saving potential of AUVs for inspection of underwater assets. Research from industry analysts Technavio forecasts that the global AUV market is expected to grow from US$600 million in 2015 to over US$2 billion by 2020.
The World AUV Market Forecast from Douglas-Westwood covers all key commercial themes relevant to companies across the value chain in all AUV sectors. The report considers the prospective demand for AUVs in the commercial, military and research sectors over the next several years. Unit demand is expected to increase over the forecast at a CAGR of 10%, with all sectors seeing growth due to increased utilization of AUV technology.
RDC is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s research and development (R&D) performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia, and government agencies and departments to make strategic investments in highly qualified people, R&D infrastructure, and innovative research. Additional information about RDC can be found at: www.rdc.org.
Kraken’s funding contribution was provided under RDC’s SensorTECH program, which supports sensor research, development and demonstration in simulated and real operating environments. Research and development conducted under this program helps solve local technical challenges and contributes to the development of new or improved products and services with sensor‐related technologies such as radar, acoustics, optics, sonar and signal processing that can be exported around the world.
The SensorTECH funding will be used during 2017 and 2018 to help develop Kraken’s THUNDERFISH AUV platform.