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Shallow Water Investigations

#0430


A System of Hardware, Software and Technical Means for Conducting Shallow Water Investigations.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
01.08.1995

Leading Institute
State Scient.- Res. Center "Region", Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • NPO Vint, Russia, Moscow\nAOZT NTP Raconet Corporation, Russia, Moscow\nAOOT "NIAI Istochnik" Corporation, Russia, St Petersburg\nAO "Akvamarin" Corporation, Russia, St Petersburg\nTsNIIAG, Russia, Moscow

Collaborators

  • C&C Technology, Inc., USA, LA, Lafayette\nAUSI / Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute, USA, NH, Lee\nMarine Physics Corporation, USA, MA, Boston\nUS Department of Army/Waterways Experiment Station / Corps of Engineers, USA, MS, Vickburg\nEndeco/YSI / Invironmental Monitoring Systems, USA, MA, Marion

Project summary

A prototype AUV, associated subsystems, software and support processes for conducting commercial operations in shallow water will be developed. The unified system is intended to undertake marine survey assignments for industrial, ecological and scientific purposes throughout the world.

Although some part of the tasks "which are assigned to AUV and associated subsystems, could be solved by traditional means with using towed apparatus, all AUV operations justify themselves in terms of some economically defensible combination of: significant profitability, reduced survey duration, and enhanced resolution of the sensing results, when compared with results using conventional means for conducting the same varieties of survey operations under identical circumstances.

The base for these advantages comparatively to the already existing AUV-technologies is:

- the complete autonomy during collecting data process along the preset trajectory guyded by hazard avoidance subsystem;

- simultaneous measurements of bottom relief and exploring bottom layer structure;

- using state-of-the-art guidance system developed purposely for the AUV's;

- developing interconnected software system of global data processing including editing, visualization, animation of collected data.

- survey missions will comprise 3-4 hrs,, it corresponds to a trajectory length of a few tens ofkms.

The conceptual design of the AUV we propose directly addresses the difficult operational circumstances which characterize the range of commercial markets we have chosen to address.

These circumstances include:

Reliable mechanical operation of rotating machinery and actuators, as well as preservation of precision electronics in the turbid and muddy waters that characterize many of the world's sedimentary rivers, river deltas and estuary regions; and which are thick with unsettled plumes of suspended particles during and long after the conduct of dredging operations.

Long-term survivability of the hull, onboard subsystems, sensors, analyzers and electronics components during repeated deployments in waters containing high concentrations of corrosive and hazardous chemicals, heavy metals and wastes from nuclear powerplants. . During survey operations, maintaining proper speed and attitude in the face of strong countercurrents in rapidly flowing rivers, as well as in coastal inlet areas that are influenced by strong tides and river outlet crossflows.

During surveys, an ability for the AUV to ingest ambient water and to process internally for onboard analyses of paniculate and chemical composition without interfering with its motion.

While performing project condition surveys at very low speeds, holding speed, heading and orientation within scheduled limits in the presence of turbulence from the propellers of ships passing in close quarters, as well as underwater disturbances caused by surge transients, low-frequency current anomalies, eddies, and vortices.

Following inevitable collisions while operating in hazardous waters of restricted depth: autonomous detection, location, diagnosis, assessment and self-recovery or mission abort. Hazards may include floating tree trunks and large branches during flooding, uncharted rocks and sandbars, entanglements with dense vegetation, and the keels of passing surface vessels (in general, shipping cannot be interrupted while the surveys are conducted).

All equipment to be designed for rapid repair or replacement in situ by nonspecialist service personnel of average intelligence working in moderately heavy seas. Similar considerations apply to non-specialist administrative personnel who will expect to participate actively in mission planning, mission control and mission assessment operations; however, non-routine data processing, database maintenance and data quality control will require trained specialists.

The AUV and all internal subsystems to cause no significant environmental pollution or damage.

No competitive commercial AUV systems exist anywhere nor, to the best of our knowledge, are any under active consideration. Thus, the products described here can be expected to capture a significant portion of existing and nature world markets.

At this point there should be mentioned the existence of wide range of problems which are realy oriented toward the AUV approach (e.g. the working missions without affecting the ship traffic in harbors, channels, river fairways, collecting data bellow the ice cover, etc.)

Typical applications include conducting dredging surveys, charting shallow-water seafloors, inspecting the condition of marine construction projects, collecting subbottom geotechnical measurements, sampling underwater physical and chemical environments in the coastal zone, finding regions favorable for fishing, and locating important underwater objects and obstructions. The control capabilities embodied within these unique data collection platforms will also provide scientists of all nations with the ability to conduct important classes of difficult physical and chemical undersea experiments which until now have been impossible to attempt.

Potential Opportunities for Foreign Collaborators:

Consultants with expertise in forming and laminating advanced polymer composite plastics . Governmental agencies interested in undertaking cooperative field tests of the system . Anyone interested in developing specialized sensor packages for AUV missions.


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