ISE Arctic Explorer
ISE's Arctic Explorer Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.
Using the EBAM technology, ISE has cut significant time and cost during the making of its Variable Ballast (VB) tank compared to more traditional manufacturing methods.
ISE approached Sciaky after the closure of its former supplier, a titanium forging facility that produced propellant tanks for the Russian space programme. Not wanting to risk any further delays in its exploration schedule, ISE contacted Sciaky. Sciaky, who had previously 3D-printed titanium propellant tanks for Lockheed Martin Space Systems in 2015, was happy to oblige.
“Sciaky is proud to help ISE cut production time by 50% and reduce costs by 3D printing their titanium VB tank with our one-of-a-kind EBAM process,” said Bob Phillips, Vice President of Marketing for Sciaky Inc. “Our industry-leading EBAM technology is the world’s only industrial-scale metal 3D printing solution with approved parts for land, sea, air, and space applications.”
Sciaky’s engineering and project management team quickly formed a plan to produce a new titanium VB tank for ISE using its patented EBAM 3D printing process. It helped ISE reduce production time from 16 weeks to eight weeks, as well as reducing costs as compared to retooling with a new forging supplier. Perhaps more importantly, the EBAM-produced VB tank passed the same vigorous qualification testing as the previous tank created with the forging process. ISE now plans to 3D print other critical titanium parts with Sciaky’s EBAM process.
The titanium VB tank is a sub-system of ISE’s Arctic Explorer Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) class of vehicles. ISE previously built two Arctic Explorers for Natural Resources Canada/ Defence Research and Development Canada to map the sea floor underneath the Arctic ice shelf in support of Canada’s claim under Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Arctic Explorer is the largest of the Explorer AUV class, measuring over seven metres long and weighing over 2,000 kilograms. It can be launched from a ship or through an ice-hole and the modular sections can be separated for transportation. With its unique VB system it can park on the sea floor or hold itself on the underside of the ice during missions. The Artic Explorer is designed to remain underwater between missions for extended periods of time, and can operate at over three miles beneath the surface.
ISE’s new VB tank 3D-printed with Sciaky’s EBAM process will be installed on-board a new Arctic Explorer AUV that is scheduled to be delivered to the University of Tasmania in the spring. This AUV is set to be deployed in Antarctica after extensive trials and training operations.