Boeing’s 51-foot yellow submarine is back to bobbing off the West Coast
Boeing’s Echo Voyager, a fully autonomous extra large unmanned undersea vehicle (XLUUV) class UUV, is designed to spend months at sea like a mini-diesel electric sub, snorting to charge its batteries at a shallow depth, then submerging deeper (to a rumored 11,000-feet if needed) to continue on deep-cell batteries. The range on one fuel pack is expected to be somewhere in the 6,500 nm– enough to cross the Atlantic or the distance from Hawaii to Australia and then some.
As detailed by the LA Times, Echo Voyager’s current return to the sea off the California coast “began about six weeks ago and this time is focusing on more complicated tests of autonomy. That includes determining whether the vehicle can maintain a very straight line at a specific distance from the ocean surface or the sea floor, and increasing its long-term reliability.”
Below is Echo Voyager’s first series of open water trials conducted last year