Mrs Cornelia Alexandru, Beia Consult International Research & Development, Romania
The current capabilities of Unmanned Underwater and Surface Vehicles (UUVs and USVs, respectively) have leveraged the implementation of increasingly complex missions at sea. Thus, nowadays there is a huge interest in the development of advanced techniques for cooperative and coordinated operation by multiple autonomous vehicles, since such approach promises a performance, robustness, flexibility, and adaptability that is unachievable with a single vehicle. Despite the growing interest in the field, most of the ongoing research is purely theoretical or, if experimental, focused on partial aspects of the whole mission loop and tightly coupled to the available vehicles and architectures in these developments.
ADRIATIC aims at taking this situation to the next level by developing a vendor-neutral software framework for mission planning and simulation of cooperative autonomous marine vehicles. This solution will integrate the whole mission loop (autonomous navigation; environment recognition and sensing; water/underwater communication) while expanding the functionalities of existing open source libraries and APIs focused on specific aspects of UUV/USV operation, such as vessel dynamics, guidance, navigation (UUV Simulator, UWSim) or underwater image processing (UNDROIP).
A simulation environment will be used to develop and verify the task planning navigation and the control of the system. Simulation will provide a flexible environment test and demonstrate different scenarios and vehicles. This approach will remove the restrictions of limited access to hardware and will increase software reusability, lowering the existing entrance barrier to UUV/USV operation.
ADRIATIC combines the efforts of four companies and one university from three European countries whose common vision is to expand the use of underwater vehicles to facilitate the conception, planning and execution of maritime and offshore operations and missions. This will reduce operational costs, increase the safety of tasks and involved individuals, and expand the offshore sector as a whole.