The main objective for this mission
was to demonstrate the feasibility of using
MARES to map the
plume emanating from a sewage outfall. It was a
preparation for a longer mission being planned for next
spring, under the SIMPES
project, where the AUV data will be correlated
with data from ship-borne sensors and from dispersion
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 NIB #1 and NIB
#2 being deployed about 600 meters apart. 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 support vessel,
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.
animation of NIB deployment and MARES mission, 5MB,
courtesy B'lizzard Ltd.)