The Bluefin-12S is a highly modular autonomous underwater vehicle with the ability to carry multiple payloads simultaneously. Its baseline low-cost navigation solution and 4.5-kWh energy capacity provide ample capability for most shallow applications. The ultimate configuration of Bluefin-12S is customizable for unique requirements. Applications for the Bluefin-12S include:

  • Inshore Survey
  • Search and Salvage
  • Oceanography
  • Scientific Research
  • Mine Countermeasures (MCM)
  • Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)

General Dynamics acquired Bluefin Robotics in February 2016.

Product Details


The vehicle design includes swappable payload sections and battery modules for in-field mission reconfiguration. Subsystems can be quickly accessed for rapid turnaround between missions and also allow for in-field maintenance, accelerating operational tempo.

Standard building blocks enable a variety of configurations without having to design from scratch. The Bluefin-12S can accommodate new payloads and enhanced energy sections – evolving with expanding requirements or changing applications. It can also be delivered with an empty payload section and a standard payload interface for customer payload integration.

Our navigation software combines information from the IMU and multiple other sensors – including GPS, a DVL, an SVS and a compass – to provide accurate navigation with an error of less than 0.5% of distance traveled, yielding high-quality data without an INS.

An intuitive software package enables quick and easy planning and monitoring of missions and rapid post-mission processing and display, and is capable of exporting data to third-party software.

Operator Tool Suite

Bluefin’s Operator Tool Suite is a comprehensive AUV software package that provides the interface between the AUV and the operator for all mission phases. The simple user interface maximizes the operator’s effectiveness in AUV operations. This Windows-based tool suite includes everything necessary to run and manage the system, including vehicle check-out and testing, mission planning, vehicle communications, mission monitoring and execution, data management, and post-mission analysis.

Mission Planner

Mission Planning and Verification
From within this graphical tool, basic missions are easy to enter and verify, while complex mission plans can be built up from basic survey “widgets.” Mission and safety details are fully accessible, allowing for rapid and accurate mission planning. Planning takes place on top of a chart-based view which accepts raster or digital charts. Operators can specify safety settings, operational constraints, recovery points and return plans. The Mission Planner also allows customer-specific commands to be sent via the Standard Payload Interface.


Vehicle Testing, Checkout and Mission Monitoring
Dashboard tools enable the operator to track vehicles against a chart-based interface which includes ship position indicators, mission plans, and a variety of operator-specified annotations. Vehicle status is readily apparent, including the current behavior as well as details of vehicle status. The Dashboard automatically shifts communications to the highest bandwidth channel available providing you with a dynamic gateway to the vehicle. A variety of specialized diagnostic interfaces aid the preventative and corrective maintenance procedures for each sensor and subsystem.


Display, Analysis and Reporting
Lantern supports post-mission display and analysis including processing vehicle logs and display sensor data. It combines survey tracklines, vehicle data, contact locations, and user-entered annotations in straightforward chart-based windows. The operator can easily access key functions for zooming, contact measurement and height above the ground. Information is geographically referenced and post-mission re-navigation processing maximizes the positional accuracy of detected targets. Lantern can also interface with many stand-alone third-party tools.

For more information, please contact us.