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Miniaturized and reconfigurable instrumentation for multipurpose survey with a mini autonomous vehicle: Development and validation at sea

Objective



Instrumented mobile unmanned platforms are a promising alternative to current undersea measurement methods, being able to conduct fast 3-Dimensional survey in highly variable environment, such as coastal areas. Such measurements acquire a growing importance for the construction and validation of oceanographic models.
However these instrumented vehicles will be economically viable only if they really offer affordable elementary data acquisition and simple exploitation and support means.
The overall objective of the MAUVE project is to develop and validate at sea a miniaturized, reconfigurable, mobile and autonomous Instrumentation, dedicated to Multipurpose Survey, in particular in coastal waters. It will be characterized by coherent integration of a compact automatic multiparameter measurement module with a very small Autonomous Underwater vehicle. enabling sensor-driven navigation.
This project is expected to offer:
- low cost baseline, with multi-instrument capability
- easy maintenability and fast new-mission reconfiguration
- low risk mission achievement and reliable homing function
- single person handling, from a small ship or from the shore - multi-vehicle configuration capability
Such a demonstrator, derived from an existing vehicle (CALAS), will be developed and validated at sea, in two different eumpean coastal marine environments: a "front delimitation" mission will be performed in North-sea, and an automatic mapping of bottom characteristics in the mediterranean sea. Surveying the water column should involve reliable and accurate measurement of temperature, salinity turbidity, fluorescence and nutrients. Extra-sampling capabilities will be investigated, both for re-calibration of sensors and for further detailed analysis.
Automatic mapping of bottom characteristics will be demonstrated using a combination of two sets of sensors, acoustic and optical (fluorescence). However, the potentialities of the "MAUVE" project open a much wider spectrum of potential applications, ranging from the monitoring of sub-ice conditions to the surveillance of various dumping sites, through the inspection of the quality of bathing waters. A Mission Analysis Study will also be performed with the support of an "end-users" group, resulting in a practical overview of the most realistic expected operational missions.
The baseline vehicle will be a "Torpedo-shaped" AUV, designed as a modular structure with the following expected performances, extrapolated from the existing version:
. Velocity: 2 to 6 knots
. Endurance: 6 to 8 hours, according to the actual speed
. Depth capability: 100 m.
. Auto-depth, auto-heading and sensor-driven navigation
capability.
. Very reliable Homing or recovering capability
The various aspects mentioned above requires expertise from different research and development areas.
Furthermore, the potential use of such a system in various european coastal waters clearly indicates the need for the participation of the current team of partners and end-users from different countries. The consortium composition meets this requirement:
- System manufacturers: CNIM(FR) and TS.ASM (FR)
- Instrumentation: GMI (DK)
- Research centers: IST(PO), CNR-IAN (IT)
and CNRS-I3S (FR)
- End-users: MUMM(BE) and IFREMER(FR)

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Thomson Marconi Sonar SAS
Address
525,Route Des Dolines
06903 Sophia Antipolis
France

Participants (7)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
250,Route Des Lucioles 2000, Bètiment Euclides
06410 Biot
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Italy
Address
Viale F.causa 18/R
16145 Genova
Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée
France
Address
Z.i. De Brégaillon
83507 La Seyne-sur-mer
Geological and Marine Instrumentation
Denmark
Address
5,Noerrevaenget
3070 Snekkersten
INSTITUTO SUPERIOR TECNICO
Portugal
Address
Avenida Rovisco Pais 1, Torre Norte 7
1096 Lisboa
Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER)
France
Address

83507 La Seyne-sur-mer
Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique
Belgium
Address
100,Gulledelle
1200 Bruxelles