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University of Porto Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory


Laboratório de Sistemas e Tecnologias Subaquáticas
Dep. de Eng. Electrotécnica e de Computadores
Rua Dr. Roberto Frias s/n, sala I202,
4200-465 Porto, Portugal

Organization's Description:

The Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory (USTL) - Laboratório de Sistemas e Tecnologias Subaquáticas - from Porto University pioneered the development and integration of autonomous and operator-assisted vehicles and sensor networks. Developments started in 97 with the operation of the ISURUS autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Since then USTL designed and developed:

  • Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for the inspection of underwater structures.
  • Low cost AUV for coastal oceanography.
  • Low cost sensor modules for remote and/or networked environmental data collection.
  • Acoustic navigation technology for multiple AUVs.
  • Operational concepts for the coordinated operation of multiple AUVs.
  • Control architecture for the coordination and control of multiple vehicles.

Sensor networks and networked vehicles can also be used together to build on each other strengths. For example, networked vehicles can be used to deploy the sensor networks themselves, especially in areas where accessibility is difficult.

Over the last two years, USTL devoted an intense effort to the development of feasible concepts for the networked operation of multiple vehicles and systems. As a consequence, USTL started an ambitious joint program with the Portuguese Air Force with the following objectives:

  1. design and build an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) that will work as a sensor platform;
  2. develop the technologies for the operator assisted concurrent operation of multiple autonomous vehicles and sensor networks.

Today USTL aggregates close to 20 researchers including Faculty, Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, and full-time engineers. USTL operates on a regular basis the AUVs, the ROV, and sensor networks for oceanographic field studies, inspection of underwater structures, biological field studies, and environmental data collection.

Phone: + 351 22 508 1539
Fax: +351 22 508 1443