Vehicle enhancements and upgrades
Precision Control TechnologiesProject Manager and Lead Engineer: Steve Rock
Professor Steve Rock from the Robotics Lab at Stanford University and his graduate students continue to develop software tools to enable cost-effective repeat surveys of terrain-mapped areas, such as marine protected areas. An area of emphasis for 2010 is Terrain Relative Navigation, which allows vehicles such as the imaging AUV to navigate by itself using its sonar system and a stored map acquired previously from another system, such as the mapping AUV. One goal of the project is to understand the circumstances under which the navigation uncertainty becomes unacceptable. The team also continues to work on pilot aids for ROV Doc Ricketts. The features incorporated to date have proved to be very valuable for increasing maneuverability and efficiency in operations.
Distributed AutonomyProject Manager and Lead Engineer: Kanna Rajan
The project team is tackling the problem of multi-vehicle, goal-oriented commanding with specific emphasis on the CANON (Controlled, Agile, and Novel Observing Network) initiative. The objective is to have a software system that can control and coordinate two or more mobile, heterogeneous, robotic vehicles and execute a plan of scientific interest. The vehicles must adapt to the changing conditions and provide appropriate response.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Benthic ImagingProject Manager and Lead Engineer: Brett Hobson
Lead Scientists: Jim Barry, Ken Smith
The Benthic Imaging AUV will be fine-tuned to improve performance. The MB-System, software for processing and display of multibeam sonar data, will be upgraded to include a module for mission planning that will assure that the vehicle avoids crashing into steeply-rising seafloor. Software engineers will help with image management and annotation, develop a Google Earth application to recognize mission track lines and images, and automate the data flow from raw image to final animal count through the use of the Automated Visual Event Detection software. The project team will investigate methods for providing additional maneuverability for the vehicle to allow it to operate in rougher terrain.
Long Range Autonomous Underwater VehicleProject Manager: Brett Hobson
Lead Engineer: James Bellingham
The LRAUV is currently in preliminary testing phase. Goals for 2010 are to perform the first major field programs and scientific observations with the new vehicle as part of the CANON Initiative. The project team will begin to modify subsystems and build a second vehicle that can accommodate a complementary sensor payload.