The objective of the ENDURUNS project is to design a hybrid Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that utilizes fuel cell technology with hydrogen as its fuel source. This innovation is geared for extended deep-sea operations lasting months and will be capable of executing multiple missions. Unique features include deployment and retrieval by aeroplane, helicopter, or opportune vessels, and advanced communication capabilities for transferring mission data and providing real-time updates for the unmanned platform. It is designed with modularity in mind, allowing for the addition of other surveying capabilities for geophysical studies, fish stock assessment, surveillance, and more.
An autonomous surface vehicle, fueled by solar cells, will be docked to the AUV during launch and recovery. It will disconnect when the AUV submerges for its survey missions. This surface vehicle will act as a communication bridge between the AUV and the onshore base, facilitating data exchange and mission updates. It will also provide geo-tagging for seabed mapping locations of the AUV.