New technology basis for submarine systems

Anschütz Automation Platform creates added value for shipyards and end customers.

Anschütz's underwater division develops and builds control, automation and navigation systems for submarines. Representing a technology transition, the Anschütz Automation Platform, combined with system-specific innovations, now sets new standards for submarine control and automation.

Submarine control and automation systems include the steering control system for automatic or manual control of course and depth, the hoistable masts electronic unit for controlling and regulating the hoistable masts, and the battery monitoring system for wireless monitoring and evaluation of all battery cells.

Systems used so far are based on different customised computer and bus systems with a large number of required controllers and a complex software landscape. With the new technology approach, Anschütz creates a uniform system basis that is built on reliable and proven commercial off-the-shelf components and powerful, self-developed software modules. The transition to a standardised platform based on programmable logic controllers and real-time Ethernet creates added value for shipyards and end customers in terms of functionality, integration, diagnostics and maintenance.

Characteristics of the Anschütz Automation Platform for submarines are:

  • Standardised industrial components enable all functions of the systems (such as control, regulation, monitoring, interface management, operator interface). Industrial hardware promises long-term availability and, thus, sustainable, secure operation. All components were quali-fied by Anschütz according to military standards.
  • The control of sensors and actuators is extracted from the system to create a high reusability. These input/output modules can be placed anywhere onboard the submarine, for example near actuators such as hydraulic valves. Cabling effort can be significantly reduced and the limited space can be optimally used.
  • The Automation Platform software centrally handles the interface management of the sensors and actuators and carries out control and regulation tasks in real time. This is used, for example, to position hoistable masts with high precision or to control course and depth with the Anschütz three-dimensional autopilot.
  • All signals can access a function library for easy and automated signal processing via a self-created framework. The input for all signals can be switched to simulation for virtual testing or onboard training.
  • The compact and efficient system design with less required components significantly reduces space requirements onboard the submarine and required electrical power.
  • The standardised platform makes it easier to retrofit updates and upgrades as well as new functions and services such as predictive maintenance.

The first systems based on the new platform are already in service. They, as well as the development projects currently in the development process, have confirmed the potential of the new Anschütz Automation Platform.

In addition to proving compliance with non-functional requirements in the areas of system and information security, both development and manufacturing costs were reduced and, thus, new system families were able to be realised in the automation sector.

Consistent expansion and further investments in the platform are planned for the future in order to further develop embedded functions and integrate new solutions and services.