JRA 3.3: Intelligent robot exploration

JRA3.1. Advancing shipboard data management and data access
JRA 3.2 Equipment innovations for deep sea operations from vessels
JRA 3.3: Intelligent robot exploration

T3.3.1 Intelligent AUV mapping
T3.3.2 AUV-ASV Cooperation

JRA 3.3 will develop methods and strategies for intelligent exploration, mapping and control using cooperative navigation. The initial validation of these novel technologies and innovations will be done on existing AUV/ASV platforms by UdG, then standardised and transferred to the AUV/ASV platforms of IFREMER, and finally tested in the field during operational cruises. The proposed research considers a scenario where an AUV autonomously explores a given area of the ocean floor. The AUV will be deployed from the mother ship to perform a near-bottom, high-resolution geophysical exploration survey (e.g., bathymetry, imagery, magnetics), while simultaneously gathering additional data from the seafloor and water column. At the same time, an ASV will be deployed, equipped with GPS link and an acoustic positioning system linking the ASV and the AUV (through USBL). This link will provide geo-referenced navigation data as well as communication capabilities to the AUV, without the need for a support Research Vessel during exploration. The ASV’s navigation will be cooperatively coordinated with that of the AUV for precise positioning and reliable acoustic communications.