Products & services / Buoyancy & SURF

AUV / UUV Buoyancy

Proven high performance at any depth

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) / Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) are the drones of the subsea world.  Unlike their aerial cousins, however, they are typically wholly autonomous, shrouded as they are by the deep ocean.  They range in size from a few feet (such as the Slocum Glider) to nearly 100 (Boeing’s Echo Voyager).

The systems that they carry – batteries, propulsion, sensors, guidance and communications – are invariable heavier than water.  To return to the surface, therefore, they need buoyancy.  Matrix syntactic foams can be moulded to suit the most complex of geometries and can provide stable buoyancy to 4000 m and beyond.  In addition, Matrix’s integrated fibre reinforcements can also maintain overall structural integrity, substituting for heavier metallic chassis.

Finally, Matrix’s automated production system offers substantial cost savings over traditional methods and materials, particularly as the UUV market moves beyond bespoke towards mass production.

Syntactic buoyancy for UUV platforms must be robust and reliable, surviving the pressure of a journey to the deep ocean and the fatigue loading implicit in their eventual return.  Matrix’s buoyancy systems have a long track record in this environment and our subsea simulation centre can demonstrate the performance of our materials at full scale.