Publications Articles with Category: Applications


Resource investigation for Kichiji rockfish by autonomous underwater vehicle in Kitami-Yamato bank off Northern Japan

August 20, 2014
Nishida Y, Ura T, Hamatsu T, Nagahashi K, Inaba S, Nakatani T, Resource investigation for Kichiji rockfish by autonomous underwater vehicle in Kitami-Yamato bank off Northern Japan, Springer, ROBOMECH Journal 2014, 1:2

Expensive kichiji rockfish is important catch for fishers and decreas significantly by over fishing. Common investigation method by the trawl for the fish is difficult to survey on rough terrain and need for big support of the ship. This paper proposes resource investigation method for kichiji rockfish using autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Tuna-Sand, and image processing method for precise measurement of the fish length. The AUV Tuna-Sand was developed for survey of material and energy resources in deep-sea such, and can observe natural seafloor automatically using only mounted sensors and devices. Our image processing makes a photograph possible to measure accurately the fish length by color correction for removing the unevenness of the brightness and distortion correction.

The AUV Tuna-Sand surveyed for 24 hours in Kitami-Yamato Bank off Northern Japan. The vehicle took about 5,300 pictures of the seafloor during five dives in the bank. 37 kichiji rockfish of about 90 to 340 mm long were in all photographs. The survey results showed the fish of 150 to 200 mm long was most often found in all dives although the number of the othSer long was not many. Six mosaic images made by our method showed that all kichiji rockfish stay on the seafloor by oneself without swam and the shortest distance between kichiji rockfish was 4.0 m.


Advances in AUV Pipeline Inspection

April 28, 2014
Dennis L, Tangirala S, Advances in AUV Pipeline Inspection,Ocean News & Technology April 2014

There is a growing need for advancement in Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) technology and capabilities to perform effective deepwater pipeline inspections, allowing operators to take full advantage of the efficiencies to be gained through the use of autonomous inspection systems. Oil & Gas (O&G) companies are proactively developing new specifications for AUV pipeline inspection surveys that will necessitate AUV suppliers and survey service operators to enhance their existing capabilities. These advancements will provide superior data quality and result in improved integrity management of subsea pipeline assets while also reducing the dependency on expensive surface vessels.


Robotic submarines make waves in the oil and gas sector

April 15, 2014
The Engineer May 2014

AUVs are now relatively widely used by both the oceanographic research community and the defence sector, where their ability to quietly operate for long periods deep beneath the surface and to return detailed data from the seabed, makes them ideal for a range of applications. But now, dramatic mprovements in capability, coupled with our insatiable demand for energy, are driving a growing use of the technology in the offshore energy industry.

The trend was one of the key talking points at London’s recent Oceanology International conference (March 2014), where manufacturers, survey companies and energy firms all pointed to the growing use of AUVs for a range of subsea survey and inspection tasks. Indeed, Tom Hiller, a senior engineer from Teledyne Gavia — one of the leading AUV manufacturers — told The Engineer that operators are now even beginning to specify AUV solutions in contracts.

The technology certainly has some compelling advantages: AUVs are faster than the remotely operated tethered vehicles (ROVs) that are widely used in the offshore sector. And, because they’re able to operate autonomously under their own power, are less of a drain on resources: operators can put them in the water, leave them, and go off and do something else. But it’s the quality of the data they can gather that’s really driving their use. Able to fly metres above the seabed — or close to subsea installations — AUVs enable operators to rapidly deploy a range of high-frequency sonar systems and cameras to gather detailed subsea data.

What’s more, the technology also enables operators to access areas that are off-limits to other equipment, an attractive capability for an industry that’s moving into ever-more remote environments.


Integrated Synoptic Surveys Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle and Manned Boats

May 14, 2013
Jackson, P.R., 2013, Integrated synoptic surveys using an autonomous underwater vehicle and manned boats: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2013–3018, 4 p.,

Traditional surface-water surveys are being combined with autonomous technology to produce integrated surveys of bathymetry, water quality, and velocity in inland lakes and reservoirs. This new technology provides valuable, high-resolution, integrated data that allow a systems-based approach to understanding common environmental problems. This fact sheet presents several example applications of integrated surveys within inland lakes and coastal Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.




Breaking the Surface

January 15, 2013
Kirk j, Breaking the Surface, International Ocean Systems, Jan 2013

OceanServer Technology, Inc. (OTI) recently participated in the fourth annual international interdisciplinary field training of marine robotics and applications, Breaking the Surface 2012 (BTS 2012), which took place in October 2012 on the island of Murter in Croatia. It was hosted by the University of Zagreb and involved a wide variety of researchers, including representatives from France, Greece, Germany, Portugal, the USA and several other countries.

The conference brought together four related disciplines: marine robotics, marine biology/ecology, maritime archaeology and maritime security. For eight days, BTS 2012 offered multidisciplinary field training where researchers from the aforementioned disciplines were able to join forces and use existing and recently available technologies to address their specific problems. The crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea presented these researchers with the perfect setting to update their knowledge base and operate a number of modern subsea systems, including AUVs, ROVs and other robotic platforms.


Antisubmarine warfare applications for autonomous underwater vehicles: The GLINT09 field trial results

June 22, 2012
Hamilton M, Kemna S, Hughes D, Antisubmarine warfare applications for autonomous underwater vehicles: The GLINT09 field trial results, Journal Of Field Robotics, May 2012

Surveillance in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) has traditionally been carried out by means of submarines or frigates with towed arrays. These techniques are manpower intensive. Alternative approaches have recently been suggested concerning distributed mobile and stationary sensors, such as sonobuoys and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). To field a fully operational system many technological hurdles need to be overcome. These include battery life, limited acoustic communications ranges, incorporating sonar signal processing on the AUVs embedded hardware and increasing autonomy to ensure that the system as a whole acts in a sensible and appropriate fashion. The main thrust of this paper is how the latter two issues have been addressed for a real experimental system and how the proposed solutions have been demonstrated at sea.

This paper describes on-going development at the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) to construct an autonomous distributed sensor system that uses AUVs for ASW applications. In a series of at sea experiments we have demonstrated real-time processing – incorporating traditional ASW processing as far as tracking – and adaptive autonomous behaviors, which concern AUV navigation to optimize target localization. This paper describes the hardware and software configurations that facilitated the rapid development of this system and details the recent at sea successes that have been demonstrated with our AUV, towed arrays and active acoustic sources. Results are given of our most recent at-sea trial, GLINT09, held in the summer of 2009, when an AUV with a towed array detected and maneuvered in response to an active source.


TRITON — Multisensory Based Underwater Intervention through Cooperative Marine Robots

March 1, 2012

The TRITON research project pursues the use of autonomous vehicles in the accomplishment of complex underwater intervention tasks. The project will emphasize the operation of multiple vehicles (an AUV and an I-AUV) cooperating in a coordinate manner during the execution of a mission, as well as in increasing the dexterity of a robotic arm (currently under development in the context of the RAUVI project), that will be installed in the I-AUV.

National project, 2012–2014, in progress

Global Objectives

The TRITON project proposes two scenarios as a proof of concept to demonstrate the developed capabilities: (1) the search and recovery of an object of interest (e.g. a black box) and (2) the intervention of an underwater panel in a permanent observatory.

The first mission scenario will be divided in several sub-tasks. First, the mission will begin with the deployment of the AUV and the intervention I-AUV, which should then adopt and maintain a safe formation that enables acoustic communication and absolute positioning of both vehicles. Then, a sonar survey will be carried out by the AUV to detect the signal emitted by a pinger in the black box. The detection of such signal will be followed by a second survey, whose objective is to create a photomosaic of the area, making possible to visually identify the object. Finally, the AUV will be sent back to perform the intervention task to recover the object.

The second mission scenario will also begin with the deployment and formation of both marine robots in order to establish communications and absolute positioning. Then, the AUV will use acoustics to interrogate a transponder mounted in the observatory with the objective to guide the vehicle transit to the panel. When visual contact with the objective is established, the AUV will approach the panel using visual servoing. The final part of the docking operation will involve a mechanism to rigidly attach the vehicle to the panel. After this, the manipulation will take place. Two demonstrative applications are foreseen: Opening/closing a valve, and connecting/disconnecting a cable.


Going unmanned in the deep

January 26, 2012
Voss L, Going unmanned in the deep, AUVSI, Mission Critical, Winter 2011

As advances in the technology continue, Dan McLeod, senior program manager atLockheed Martin, anticipates growing interest for AUVs to augment ROV capabilities for subsea oil and gas operations.

As a result of increased capability, AUVs are more frequently being used for daunting subsea applications. Missions requiring long endurance are best suited for the technologies and include pipeline monitoring, site surveying, environmental surveying, equipment inspection and other applications requiring extensive time at sea. However, AUVs are still not capable enough to replace ROVs. While AUVs offer advantages such as tether-free operations, operating speeds of up to 4 knots and long endurance, according to McLeod the systemslack intervention capability and the ability to transport tons of heavy equipment to underwater worksites. While McLeod anticipates AUVs could one day be capable of turning valves and accomplishing more complicated tasks, for now they will augment, rather than replace, their remotely operated counterparts.


UUVs and the brimstone below

January 26, 2012
Davis B, UUVs and the brimstone below, AUVSI, Mission Critical, Winter 2011

David Clague is a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) who makes extensive use of an autonomous underwater vehicle to study submarine volcanoes. Indeed, he says, AUV technology and practices spearheaded by MBARI now make it easier to study volcanoes under the sea than ones on land.


Underwater archaeology: Hunt for the ancient mariner

January 25, 2012
Marchant J, Underwater archaeology: Hunt for the ancient mariner, Nature, Jan 25 2012

Armed with high-tech methods, researchers are scouring the Aegean Sea for the world’s oldest shipwrecks.

Foley and a few competitors are using high-tech approaches such as autonomous robots and new search strategies that they say have a good chance of locating the most ancient of shipwrecks. If they succeed, they could transform archaeologists’ understanding of a crucial period in human history, when ancient mariners first ventured long distances across the sea.


Five Coming Innovations in Arctic Science

November 4, 2011
Leroux C, Five Coming Innovations in Arctic Science, NOAA, 4 Nov 2011

Scientific tools have come a long way from the simple, leather-bound journals 18th century naturalists were toting on expeditions into uncharted lands. But hundreds of years later, we are still asking many of the same questions about the natural world: what’s out there and how does it work?

A handful of adventurous researchers have been probing the northern frontiers of the Arctic Circle for decades, and last week, I was fortunate enough listen in as they offered their knowledge of this region to the experts at NOAA who specialize in marine oil spill preparedness and response. NOAA hosted the University of Alaska Fairbanks for an Arctic Oil Spill Science Workshop, setting to tackle the scariest natural disaster the Arctic could face in the coming century (outside of climate change, and in a way because of it).



August 22, 2011
Richmond K, Sub-Ice Exploration of an Antartic Lake – Results from the Endurance Project, UUST 17, Aug 2017


The ENDURANCE autonomous underwater vehicle was developed and deployed to explore and map a unique environment: the waters of Lake Bonney in Taylor Valley, one of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. This permanently ice-covered lake presented several unique challenges and opportunities for exploration and mapping with an AUV. ENDURANCE was successfully deployed in the west lobe of Lake Bonney in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 austral summer seasons, completing the rst full synoptic 3-D chemical prole and high-resolution 3-D geometric mapping of such a body of water. ENDURANCE successfully traversed the entire 1 km x 2 km lobe of the lake, including successful automated spooling of a science payload and automated docking into a deployment/recovery melt hole 0.25 m larger in diameter than the vehicle.


Development of a Magetometry System for an Underwater Glider

August 21, 2011
Claus B, Bachmayer R, Development of a Magetometry System for an Underwater Glider, UUST, 21 Aug 2011

The development of a magnetometry system for an underwater glider is detailed in this paper. The system is designed for low noise, low sampling rates and high accuracy measurements. The integration progress into a 200 m Slocum Electric glider is presented in addition to an evaluation of the electrical and system noise levels. A calibration algorithm is evaluated for correcting sensor errors as well as hard and soft magnetic effects due to the glider.


Project ICEBERGS – Newsletter #3

August 2, 2011
Forrest A, Hamilton A, Project ICEBERGS – Newsletter #3, UNH CCOM, 2 August 2011

Perspectives from the AUV Group – Alex Forrest and Andrew Hamilton

After leaving Cumberland Sound, we proceeded up the eastern coast of Baffin Island with the intention of making it to a potential iceberg target near Eclipse Sound at the northern tip of Baffin Island by July 29. Unfortunately, stiff 25 knot winds and high seas rose on Friday morning and so we were unable to deploy vessels or the AUV. The modified plan was to take the sheltered route south of Bylot Island through Eclipse Sound and Navy Board Inlet and look for suitable ice targets in Lancaster Sound where satellite imagery had identified some Petermann Ice Island fragments, The AUV team woke at 3:30am Saturday Morning with plans to conduct a helicopter reconnaissance of potential targets in the area. Unfortunately, the weather was uncooperative once again as a fog bank rolled in just as the flight crew was preparing to launch the helicopter at 4:00am.


Project ICEBERGS – Newsletter #2

July 28, 2011
Schmidt V,Project ICEBERGS – Newsletter #2, UNH CCOM, 28 July 2011

Perspectives from the AUV Group – Val Schmidt

We arrived in Cumberland Sound on the evening of July 25th and the ship immediately commenced an SX90 sonar acoustic fisheries survey for Arctic Cod that they hope to find in this area. This was not part of our own effort, but rather that of the chief scientist for this leg, Louis Fortier. That said the SX90 is a new addition to the Amundsen and we are greatly interested in its operation. The main reason for our own interest is that it also has the capability to image the edges and estimate the thicknesses of icebergs. While the resolution is coarse, we hope it will provide ancillary data during our own effort at iceberg mapping in the next few days.


Project ICEBERGS – Newsletter #1

July 23, 2011
Forrest A, Project ICEBERGS Newsletter #1, UNH CCOM, 23 July 2011

Perspectives from the AUV Group

Alex Forrest July 23, 2011

Our departure from Quebec City was delayed for a day, but sailing has been pretty smooth since. We’re now five days out, nearing the northernmost tip of Labrador, and soon will cross over to Baffin Island. For the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) team, this means that we’re closing in on our objective of mapping the underside of an iceberg. For the team, which includes Alexander Forrest (University of California Davis), Andrew Hamilton (University of British Columbia), Derek Mueller(Carleton University), and Val Schmidt (Coastal Center for Ocean Mapping – University of New Hampshire), this AUV deployment represents the culmination of several months of working with the Canadian Ice Service in preparation for any envisioned scenario. Although the team has experience with AUVs under-­‐ice in both the Arctic and Antarctica, this application has several challenges that haven’t previously been encountered. Unlike shorefast-­‐ice tested before in earlier deployments, the target we are searching for will be moving and rotating while we are surveying. Typical drift rates can be 10 – 15 km per day. Additionally, we will be testing a bathymetric mapping sonar unit that we have only had access to since the day before our departure.


Exploring Trade-offs in AUV Controller Design for Shark Tracking

March 25, 2011
Bertsch Louis J. Exploring Trade-offs in AUV Controller Design for Shark Tracking, Cal Poly University, March 2011

This thesis explores the use of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to track and pursue a tagged shark through the water. A controller was designed to take bearing and range to the shark tag and then control the AUV to pursue it.

First, the ability of a particle lter to provide an accurate estimation of the location of the shark relative to the AUV is explored. Second, the ability of the AUV to follow the shark0s path through the water is shown. This ability allows for localized environmental sampling of the shark0s preferred path. Third, various path weightings are used to optimize the efficiency of pursuing the shark. This demonstrates that the proposed controller is efficient and effective. Fourth, the bene ts of the addition of a second AUV are explored and quanti ed. The secondary AUV is shown to maintain formation without direct communication from the primary AUV. However, the communication of the AUVs increases the accuracy of all measurements and allows for future expansion in the complexity of the controller. Fifth, the e ects of predicting the shark’s future movement is explored. Sixth, the e ect of noise in the signal from the shark tag is tested and the level of noise at which the AUV can no longer pursue the shark is shown. This investigates the real world ability of the controller to accept noisy inputs and still generate the appropriate response. Finally, the positive results of the previous sections are combined and tested for various noise levels to show the improved controller response even under increased noise levels.

To validate the proposed estimator and controller, seven tests were conducted. All tests were conducted on existing shark path data recorded by a stationary acoustic receiver and a boat mounted acoustic receiver. Tests were conducted on data sets from two di erent species of sharks, (Shovelnose and White) with two very di erent swimming behaviors. This shows the solution”s fexibility in the species of shark tracked.


A Survey of Missions for Unmanned Undersea Vehicles

December 31, 2009
Button R, Kamp J, Curtin T, Dryden J, A Survey of Missions for Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, Rand Corp, 2009

Which military missions for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) appear most promising to pursue in terms of military need, operational and technical risks, alternatives, and cost? To answer this question, the authors assess risks associated with using UUVs for advocated missions, identify non-UUV alternatives that may be more appropriate for such missions, and analyze potential costs associated with UUV development and use. They conclude that seven missions — mine countermeasures, deployment of leave-behind surveillance sensors or sensor arrays, near-land and harbor monitoring, oceanography, monitoring undersea infrastructure, anti-submarine warfare tracking, and inspection/identification — appear most promising.


Autonomous observations of the ocean biological carbon pump.

June 30, 2009
Bishop, J.K.B. 2009. Autonomous observations of the ocean biological carbon pump. Oceanography 22(2):182–193, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2009.48.


Prediction of the substantial biologically mediated carbon flows in a rapidly changing and acidifying ocean requires model simulations informed by observations of key carbon cycle processes on the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. From 2000 to 2004, the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) supported the development of the first low-cost, fully autonomous ocean profiling Carbon Explorers, which demonstrated that year-round, real-time observations of particulate organic carbon (POC) concentration and sedimentation could be achieved in the world’s ocean. NOPP also initiated the development of a particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) sensor suitable for operational deployment across all oceanographic platforms. As a result, PIC profile characterization that once required shipboard sample collection and shipboard or shore-based laboratory analysis is now possible to full ocean depth in real time using a 0.2-W sensor operating at 24 Hz. NOPP developments further spawned US Department of Energy support to develop the Carbon Flux Explorer, a free vehicle capable of following hourly variations of PIC and POC sedimentation from the near surface to kilometer depths for seasons to years and capable of relaying contemporaneous observations via satellite. We have demonstrated the feasibility of real-time, low-cost carbon observations that are of fundamental value to carbon prediction and that, when further developed, will lead to a fully enhanced global carbon observatory capable of real-time assessment of the ocean carbon sink, a needed constraint for assessment of carbon management
policies on a global scale.