University of Gothenburg
An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle in surface mode
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Ran in surface mode
Photo: Göteborgs universitet

AUV – Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, AUV, performs pre-programmed dives, several hours long, to collect data. It can be used from research vessels or from land.

Ran: the AUV at the University of Gothenburg

An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, AUV, is equipped with sensors and collects data during pre-programmed missions. It moves faster than an ROV and can therefore cover longer distances in shorter time.

The AUV at The University of Gothenburg – called Ran – has very good navigation accuracy and carries high resolution acoustic sonars and other mapping instruments. There are only a few AUV:s in the world with Ran's capacity, accessible to science. Thanks to the navigational properties, it can accomplish under-ice missions, and it has been used successfully in Antarctica and under ice in Baltic sea coastal waters.

Ran is a part of the national research infrastructure MUST (Mobile Underwater System Tools), financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The infrastructure is open for external users for research purposes. Ran can also, under certain circumstances, be rented by commercial companies.

Orangecoloured, torpedoshaped Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Photo: Kongsberg Maritime A/S

Data, performance and equipment of Ran

Manufacturer: Kongsberg Maritime A/S, Horten, Norway
Model: Hugin
Length: 7.5 metres
Weight: 1850 kg (dry)
Speed: 1-7 knots, cruise speed 4 knots
Maximum dive depth: 3000 metres
Maximum dive length and time: 300 km and 36 h

Equipped with:

  • multibeam echo sounder, Multibeam Kongsberg EM2040, 200-400 kHz, 0.7° x 0.7° beam width, swath coverage sector up to 140°
  • conductivity, temperature and depth sensor (CTD), dual systems SeaBird 911 19plusv2
  • oxygen sensor, SeaBird SBE43 (dual system)
  • carbon dioxide sensor, Contros HydroC
  • nitrate sensor, SeaBird Deep SUNA
  • chlorophyll/turbidity sensor, SeaBird WetLabs ECOtriplet (FLBBCD)
  • side scan sonar (= acoustic ”camera”), EdgeTech 2205. Frequencies 75/410 kHz (1-6 km range)
  • bottom-penetrating sonar (= acoustic ”X-ray camera”), EdgeTech DW216 with configurable chirp
  • navigation system: DVL-supported Honeywell Hg9900, gives accuracy of better than 0.08% of distance travelled
  • acoustic communication below surface, 2-3 km between ship and AUV
  • satellite, radio and WiFi communication in surface mode

A small launch and recovery system for near-shore work is available. A larger launch and recovery system for open waters is being procured.

A small launch and recovery system
Photo: Johan Rolandsson

Ran is stored and transported in a 25 foot container. In order to operate Ran, a 10 foot workshop container is also needed on board.

25 foot container to the left and 10 foot to the right
Photo: Göteborgs universitet



Excl. VAT

Research project > 2 days (2 technicians on board): 3700 EUR/day
Research project < 2 days (1 technician on board): 2700 EUR/day
Commercial project: 13 700 EUR/day
Prices include service, spare parts, consumables and technical support.
Prices do not include transportation, planning, travels for technicians, mobilization and demobilization.

Ran is often used from the University of Gothenburg's research vessel Skagerak, also available for research project.