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New AUV demonstrated in fresh water (2007-10-31)

The Ocean Systems AUV has been demonstrated in the Douro river, in the first fully autonomous mission. Although all subsystems have been previously tested separately, it was the first time the complete system was demonstrated.

Mission Details

The main objective for this mission was to validate the complete system as an efficient tool for water sampling. We also intended to assess the operational procedures, from mission programming to the logistic aspects. This mission was a preparation for the first sea trial, to be sheduled in the short term, as soon as sea state conditions allow.

The AUV was equipped with a Sea-Bird CTD, logging all data on the on board computer at 16Hz.

Navigation was based on a Long Baseline (or LBL) acoustic network, with 2 NIBs being deployed about 600 meters apart, along the river, in about 15 meters of water. The vehicle software continuously fused ranges to the buoys, together with compass heading and thruster RPM to compute the estimated position.

During the mission, the buoys transmitted vehicle location data to the mission control station, on the shore, so that the AUV trajectory could be followed in real time. At the end, the vehicle surfaced at the pre-programmed location and immediately started transmitting her own position by radio.


>> .wmv file (5 MB)

Photos (click to enlarge)


NIB with thermoelectric power
plant in the background

AUV hovering

AUV at the end of mission


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