A European research network on key technologies for intervention autonomous underwater vehicles
There is a pressing need for the development of advanced technologies to explore and exploit in a consistent and better manner the vastness of the oceans of the world. Intervention Autonomous Underwater vehicles (I-AUV) have shown their potential for the acquisition of marine data at extremely large scales and for the direct intervention in underwater structures without the need for constant human interaction and supervision. Part of the technology required for their development has proven to be feasible. An increased effort is now needed to further the advances already made in the technology and to make the results more accessible to a wider range of commercial and scientific end users.
To this end it is necessary to create a critical mass of young researchers capable of bridging the gap between marine technology and science. To achieve this FREESUBnet will first explore a set of applications with intervention requirements thus allowing the focus of the research to be in the fields of Marine Science, Inspection of Wrecks & Archaeology, assessment of Energy systems and multi-disciplinary applications in Marine Science. In this context, the network will study novel concepts of IAUV' leading to the identification and the development of the technologies needed to fulfil these tasks.
The techniques for navigation, autonomous underwater tele-manipulation, vehicle control and mission management technologies, will be further explored and developed to close the gap between state-of-the art IAUV technology and its applications. FREESUBnet aims to meet its goals by establishing an international network of technology developers as well as being inter-sectorial and deliver the technology to end-users from different and diverse disciplines.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
University Road, Highfield
Philip Alan WILSON (Professor)
COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE (CEA)
CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE (CNRS)
HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH
INSTITUT FRANCAIS DE RECHERCHE POUR L'EXPLOITATION DE LA MER
INSTITUTO SUPERIOR TECNICO
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES - DIRECTORATE GENERAL JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE
NORGES TEKNISK - NATURVITENSKAPELIGE UNIVERSITET
UNIVERSITAT DE GIRONA
UNIVERSITATEA DIN CRAIOVA
INSTITUTO DO MAR
Grant agreement ID: 36186
1 November 2006
31 October 2010
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
Final Activity Report Summary - FREESUBNET (A European research network on key technologies for intervention autonomous underwater vehicles)
The experience gained by each one of these has been manifold; each has moved for a period of time from their own country to another within the European Community and has gained not only international collaboration but a chance to understand another educational and social culture. The ability for the researchers to receive training opportunities within the host institution was used by all. The extra ability of the network was to have short term secondments from the host employing the ESR to another. This enabled team building and as such allowed the understanding of extra parts of the work of others and its application to the seconded. It was because of this arrangement, envisaged within the network that many joint publications were published. Presentational skills are not usually given as part of a first degree course and this meant that specific training and criticism was given at the regular meetings of the ESRs. This is a vital ability that we believe we have instilled into the community of ESRs.
The method used is to cause each ESR to read and to criticise the text and logic of the report of the work package. The ESRs not only produced good research within these areas but they each learned new skills in such areas as public dissemination of their work. This skill is not one that is taken lightly by any scientific team but it is one that needs to be completed in a professional manner. To this end the experienced researcher working for the principal partner produced many ways for this to propagate.
The work has not only focussed on the design of underwater robotic systems remotely operated from the sea surface so that tasks such as turning on valves on undersea oil production plant can continue, but also on the applications of monitoring fish species in real time. The work of the researchers within the Azores allowed a novel use of the networks capabilities. Those who finished their work within the network before the total completion of the work have found that their experience has helped them to find suitable and rewarding research work elsewhere within Europe.
The network engaged with a research group at IIT Khragpur, India and also with an equivalent group in the University of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On-going discussions are taking place with the Naval Engineering department of the Royal Thai Navy on the role of underwater remotely operated vehicles. The academic work of the network has allowed the young researchers the ability to work with world leading academics and engineers within the world of underwater robotics. This subject area is sparsely understood within Europe, the majority of the work is focussed in the United States of America and Japan and so a nucleus of talent has been grown within the countries of Europe that will allow the subject area to flourish and produce tangible results and vehicles of many sizes for a plethora of applications that will enhance the capabilities of the engineering companies and research institutes for years to come.
Deliverables not available
Publications not available