9 March 2012 -- The 7th Framework Programme European Commission funded project MORPH (Marine Robotic System of Self-Organizing, Logically Linked Physical Nodes) had its kick off meeting hosted by the coordinator ATLAS Elektronik, in Bremen from 21 to 23 February. The following Consortium partners attended(see photo): Imar - Instituto do Mar (Portugal), Jabobs University Bremen (Germany),
Institut Francais de Recherche Pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (France), Instituto Superior Tecnico (Portugal), Technische Universitaet Ilmenau (Germany), Universitat de Girona (Spain). Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy), and of course ATLAS Elektronik (Germany) and NURC.
The four-year-long MORPH project, which started in February, aims at implementing a meta-maritime autonomous vehicle, comprised of different AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) and ASV (Autonomous Surface Vehicle) nodes operating in close formation. Instead of being physically coupled, the modules are connected via virtual links that rely on the flow of information among them, i. e. inter-module interactions take place via underwater communication networks at distant and close ranges and supported by visual perception at very close range. This concept allows a high degree of adaptability to environment and terrain conditions by means of shape-shifting for optimized sensor placement, with high potential of applicability on port protection, mine countermeasures and antisubmarine warfare fields.
NURC is participating in a core role by providing the underwater and surface communication infrastructure that is vital to support cooperation between the different nodes. At the kick-off meeting, NURC scientists presented a concept for system architecture and inter-vehicle communication support. The consortium partners took important steps towards defining key points such as hardware and software implementation processes, integration-experimentation roadmap and the final demonstration scenario. The next MORPH plenary meeting will be hosted at NURC in Summer 2012, with specific dates yet to be defined.
External link: http://www.nurc.nato.int/