MarTERA UNDINA; Underwater robotics with multi-modal communication and network-aided positioning system
UNDINA aims at providing a reliable, compact, plug-and-play communication, networking, and positioning system specifically designed for resource constrained AUVs, having easy maneuverability, low weight, small dimensions, and low associated operational costs. Three AUV prototypes with optimized integration of the DINA system will be delivered within the project. These prototypes will demonstrate three on demand services: a) large data loads collection from remote sensors; b) coordinated and/or remotely controlled inspection of underwater infrastructure; and c) activation of a remote sensor. These are relevant use cases of marine robotics in rapidly developing applications where both cabled and wireless remote underwater and seafloor infrastructures are deployed. An example of industrial underwater infrastructures are open-water and coastal fish farming nets, floating wind turbines, and Oil & Gas pipes. Aquaculture, offshore wind, and petroleum ocean industries, all aim at increasing the amount of autonomous, unmanned operations, and maintenance. This reduces vessel time, man-hours costs, and offshore work Health and Safety risks. In addition, it optimizes value creation in industrial processes. UNDINA improves communication and positioning capabilities of small and low cost AUVs, thus enabling networking solutions for a scalable sensing technology. Current single technology communication and positioning solutions suffer from local and/or temporal unreliability of the data transfer quality. Being able to rely on different communication technologies, when the distance between transmitter and receiver allows it, makes the communication and positioning system more reliable, robust to space-time varying water conditions, and more accurate than existing solutions.