[robotics-worldwide] [News] Marine Robotics experiment, Azores July 2015

Kanna Rajan kannarajan.mbari at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 01:10:30 PDT 2015

Those of you interested in Marine Robotics field experiments might want to follow our ongoing inter-disciplinary program in the deep ocean, off the coast of Azores in the mid-Atlantic. The technical and scientific objectives of the experiment are the following:
Coordinated UAV and AUV synoptic operations in the deep (oligotrophic) ocean.
Use of novel sensors in the field, including a Holographic plankton imager (Plymouth, UK), and a compact low-cost hyper-spectral UAV imager (Norut/NTNU, Norway) flying over the experiment zone.
Tracking and characterizing the environment in the near presence of cetaceans (primarily whales, dolphins) using networked robotic assets (UPorto).
Use of mixed-initiative and embedded AI-based temporal constraint planners to dynamically position AUVs and their command/control onboard (UPorto).
An International and pedagogical component with the involvement of Portuguese (including Azoiran), Norwegian and US collaborators and students.

Wednesday July 15th was the first day of operations after training in near shore and on-shore operations. A large number of Sperm and Blue whales were sighted and the waters they transited were sampled by AUVs. Coordinated measurements with the hyper-spectral imager and a NIR and visual range camera on separate UAVs is yet to occur. This off-shore component of the experiment terminates Sunday July 19th with a subsequent near-shore component to visit and map in 3D and multi beam sonar, shallow hydro-thermal vents off the coast of Faial Island. 

Details, plans, teaming, images and arrangements are on http://rep15.lsts.pt/ <http://rep15.lsts.pt/>.

Joao Tasso (Univ. of Porto, Portugal)
Kanna Rajan (Visiting Prof. Univ. of Porto)
Tor Arne Johansen (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway)

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