The HYDROID LARS is designed to function off the stern or midship of a vessel and is field proven with the REMUS 600 and REMUS 6000 AUVs. The self-contained LARS can extend the operational weather window of the AUV by allowing launch and recovery in sea states up to Sea State 5 while retaining the flexibility to operate from any vessel of opportunity. When mounted on the stern of a ship, the LARS has a 5.5 ft. x 10 ft. footprint, and requires less than 15 Hp when operational.
Land, sea, and air shippable
The self-contained LARS is land, sea, and air shippable in an internally customized
standard ISO container, which has been modified to permit the unit to function as
a shipboard operations and maintenance center.
The LARS is a self-contained system. The vehicle is placed on a cradle, which
is part of the LARS. The vehicle cradle also doubles as a maintenance and shipping
stand. The cradle is pinned to the LARS, and the LARS docking head is placed on
the nose of the vehicle. A lift/tow line is attached directly to the tow-line release
actuator on the vehicle, and then pulled taught by the lifting winch.
For launch, the LARS includes a built-in A-frame, which tilts the cradle up and
over, finally leaving the vehicle hanging by its nose well outboard of the fantail.
The cradle supports the vehicle during the first 90 degrees of the LARS A-frame
rotation, stabilizing the vehicle until it is a safe distance from the stern. The
docking head provides damping to reduce swing in heavy seas. The vehicle is then
quickly lowered into the water, tail first, while the ship is making approximately
1-2 knots forward way. While in tow, a "wet checkout" of the vehicle may be performed
prior to release. When the ships crew is ready, the vehicle is commanded to release
its tow-line and begin its mission.
At the end of the mission, when the vehicle surfaces, it will notify the operators
via Iridium or Wi-Fi (depending on distance from the ship) that it is on the surface,
and will provide its GPS coordinates. The ship then approaches the vehicle. Additionally,
the vehicle may be manually driven on the surface via the Wi-Fi connection, reducing
the need for ship manoeuvring. When nearby, the ship commands the vehicle to release
its recovery float and line, which then make an easy target for a grapple toss.
Once the line is on-board, the vehicle is then put in tow and the line is attached
to the LARS for recovery. Once on deck the vehicle remains in the LARS where it
may be prepared for its next mission.
During launch and recovery, the LARS maintains excellent control of the vehicle
without any need for tag lines, resulting in an extremely safe and reliable method
for launch and recovery. The LARS actuators and winch motors are hydraulic, and
a hydraulic power-pack is built in. One operator is required to control the system.
A built in operator's console with proportional controls allows for simple and safe
Certain HYDROID AUVs can be configured with autonomous docking capability. The systems includes:
- Dynamic Docking
- Docking Stations
- Whisker Noses
- Automated Recovery