Sea Technology

MAR 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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24 ST | March 2018 the sensing of CTD multi-parameter probe data in the area close to the Kronebreen glacier. A subsequent, more complex data acquisition cam- paign involving simultaneous operation of three un- manned vehicles was performed during the campaign completed in summer 2017 (from June 13 to June 26) by ISSIA-CNR in cooperation with researchers from other in- stitutes of the National Research Council (IAMC, ISMAR, ISAC, IBIMET) and Tuscia University. This campaign gath- ered data to improve the understanding of major chemi- cal, physical, biological and meteorological phenomena occurring near the waterfronts of the tidewater glaciers. The campaign exploited the unique characteristics of the newly developed unmanned marine vehicle (UMV) PROTEUS (Portable RObotic TEchnology for Unmanned Surveys) and two aerial drones, all operated from a boat floating at a safe distance of 500 m from the glacier's front. PROTEUS The UMV PROTEUS, designed and built by IS- SIA-CNR, is a portable (45 to 70 kg, 1.5 m long, 0.35 to 0.5 m wide, 0.35 to 1.5 m high), highly modular and reconfigurable vehicle. It is an innovative hybrid com- posed of a core vehicle and various portable modules that can be assembled at field to handle various tasks. PRO- TEUS's core can be operated as an ROV when tethered to a mothership. It can also be transformed into a USSV by removing the tether cable, adding a battery pack below the vehicle and installing on its top a module composed of foam, GPS and a radio com- munication system. One of the most important features of PROTEUS is its open- frame chassis made in HDPE. Highly flexible and impact resistant, the frame is designed for quick installation and shifting of tools, equipment and sen- sors. Its thrusters are also interchangeable, displaceable mod- ules designed by IS- SIA-CNR. In this way, the vehicle can be turned into dif- ferent kinds of UMVs (ROV, USSV) but also reconfigured upon each expedition according to specific needs. Thanks to its open hardware and software architec- tures, PROTEUS can easily be fitted on board with differ- ent sensors and actuators according to the specific mis- sion. The presence of modular elements of buoyant foam on top of the frame makes it possible to quickly balance the trim to compensate for variations in weight. The onboard computing system is installed in a mov- able stainless steel canister based on an SBC (single-board computer) and three PC/104 modules providing digital, analog and serial I/O. The I/O channels allow the SBC to communicate and interact with the various sensors and actuators installed on the vehicle. DC-DC converters, motor servo-controllers and a fiberoptic transceiver are installed in the canister, while the power supply relies on a system of converters contained in an aluminium anod- ized canister that can be moved on the vehicle to better balance the intrinsic stability of the vehicle. During the 2017 campaign, PROTEUS was mainly used as a USSV and remotely controlled by means of a guidance camera mounted on top of the vehicle. It was equipped with manifold sensors and samplers, which were used to perform water data collection in the stretch of sea facing the Kronebreen and Blomstrandbreen gla- ciers. In June 2017, PROTEUS was equipped with: an un- derwater video camera; LED lights; GoPro camera; a Tritech Micron echosounder for acquiring bathymetric data; an Idronaut Ocean Seven 305 CTD multiprobe sensor; a small sensor for measuring pressure, tempera- ture and fluorescence of chlorophyll, named T-FLAP and developed by Tuscia University; and a Turner Cyclops-7 (Top) Path followed by PROTEUS (left) and a salinity trend of data acquired near the Blomstrandbreen glacier (right). (Bottom) Sample image acquired by the ther- mal camera mounted on board OTTO (left) and a tem- perature profile simultaneously acquired by PROTEUS (right).

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