Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2011 projects

Vehicle enhancements and upgrades

Precision Control of ROVs and AUVs

Project Manager and Lead Scientist: Steve Rock

MBARI adjunct Steve Rock and his graduate students at Stanford University will transition the software tools they have developed to enable real-time terrain-relative navigation for use on MBARI remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The system allows a vehicle to navigate by itself using its sonar system and a stored map acquired previously from another system such as the AUV D. Allan B.

Distributed Autonomy

Project Manager: Thom Maughan
Lead Scientist: Kanna Rajan

This research group is addressing the problem of multi-vehicle, goal-oriented experiments with specific emphasis on the Controlled, Agile, and Novel Observing Network (CANON) initiative. The project focus is machine learning for event response. The objective is to have a software system that can control and coordinate two or more mobile, heterogeneous, robotic assets from shore to execute a plan of scientific interest. The assets must adapt to the changing conditions and provide appropriate responses.

Long-range AUV: Testing and initial operations

Project Manager: Brett Hobson
Lead Scientist: Jim Bellingham
Project Website

Improvements toward greater reliability and range of the Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LRAUV) and its graphical user interface will enable broader science use by non-experts. The field program for 2011 will focus on mapping the microbial community in an area of Monterey Bay where a drifting Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) will be deployed as part of the CANON initiative.

Imaging Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)

Project Manager: Brett Hobson
Lead Scientists: Jim Barry, Ken Smith
Project Website

The imaging vehicle will be fine-tuned to improve performance following benthic terrain and to refine the data handling and analysis systems in collaboration with the precision control project. The challenge will be to improve the agility of the AUV to allow safe, controlled flight at altitudes low enough for color imaging over rough terrain.

Ocean Imaging

Project Manager: Dave Caress
Lead Scientist:Charles Paull

This project aims to develop four-dimensional imaging capabilities by integrating off-the-shelf sonar and camera sensors on MBARI's remotely operated vehicle and autonomous underwater vehicle platforms. The goal is to obtain spatially quantitative, repeatable renderings of the seafloor with fidelity at a five-centimeter scale.


Last updated: Feb. 03, 2015