Skip to main content

Mediteranean development of innovative technologies for intergated water management

Final Report Summary - MEDITATE (Mediterranean development of innovative technologies for integrated water management)

The objective of this project, which was completed within the wider 'MEDITATE' project framework, was to design, validate and test the use of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in the study of underwater springs in order to detect and acquire a sufficient amount of water measurements to quantify the quality of sweet water discharge.

Firstly, vehicle sensors were selected and their optimal positioning was identified according to the desired measurement precision. The apparatus capacity to follow predefined paths was also determined and the system autonomy and error in tracking were quantified. Moreover, a protocol was formulated to allow for AUV deployment in missions and the vehicle and sensors were successfully integrated. In addition, the software suite that was necessary to fuse the measurements in a comprehensive form was developed and refined and the required validation tests were performed. A springs' survey was subsequently executed in selected sites. Finally, a feasibility study concerning the use of the AUV system as part of the MEDITATE project was undertaken.

Among the project components was the calibration of devices determining the equipment yaw angle and the validation of the navigation sensors' suite and the conductivity, depth and temperature (CDT) sensor. In addition, the parameters of the side scan sonar (SSS) instrument, designed to survey large sea-bottom areas, were tuned during a series of missions. The system navigation was also examined via field tests and revealed a remaining compass calibration error but confirmed the accurate estimation of the linear velocity. Following the above mentioned trials that focussed on various equipment components, the system was utilised to complete alternative of missions in two different locations in the Mediterranean.

On the other hand, the man-machine interface (MMI) specifications were identified and the system architectures, both hardware and software, were finalised. A set of controllers, mission interfaces and supervision modules were prepared and validated. Furthermore, an end user programming interface that was mainly addressed to hydrogeologists was developed. An interface for two-dimensional and three-dimensional data plotting and mission analysis was also created to assist in the results' interpretation. On the other hand the data fusion process, designed using the Matlab software, allowed for exploiting the acquired samples in a rigorous and easily applicable way.

The project was highly successful. The evaluation of the experimental missions enabled the validation of different system components. Specific diving strategies and controls were identified and optimised and, finally, a comparison with commercial state of the art equipment was feasible.

Related documents