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MARES AUV demonstrated at sea (2007-11-28)

MARES AUV was demonstrated off the Portuguese coast, collecting CTD data to map the plume emanating from a sewage outfall near Foz do Arelho. The vehicle was launched from a small support vessel, covered over 2km in about 40 minutes, and ended the mission at the specified location.

Mission Details

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 models.

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.)


>> .wmv file (7 MB), courtesy B'lizzard Ltd.

Photos (click to enlarge)


boarding MARES

boarding support equipment

 deploying NIB #1

NIB #1 at the surface

deploying MARES

MARES diving

MARES under way

MARES at the end of the mission



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