Underwater Robotic and Sensor Networks (suitable for multiple students)

I am willing to discuss and supervise projects in the field of underwater sensor and robot networks.

The Oceans Systems Laboratory (OCL) is involved in a UK project developing the next generation of underwater wireless sensor and robot networks [1-2]. Combining sensing, networking with acoustic modems and robots is key to tackling the challenges posed by the subsea environment. Potential applications include oceanographic exploration, monitoring of pollution and bio-diversity, monitoring and maintenance of offshore assets, disaster prevention, and assisted navigation. Communications constraints are among the most limiting factors in developing these applications, as EM waves do not propagate in water, and many standard technologies and paradigms are therefore not applicable. Obtaining accurate positional data of sensors and robots is also difficult but is a crucial requirement to determining the relevance of sensed data, and also in allowing for precise sensing and communication strategies.

Topics of interest to be investigated include:
• Coordination of wireless sensors and multiple underwater autonomous vehicles (UAVs) for cooperative monitoring tasks using acoustic communication.
• Graph-Based Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) techniques [3] applied to wireless acoustic sensors and robot networks, by considering both spatial constraints derived from ToA/TDoA measurements and constraints derived from AUVs moving across different parts of the network.
• Data acquisition and network management system [4] for underwater sensor and robot networks, to enable interaction between smart underwater sensor nodes, robots and onshore human operators, providing a set of management functions that will integrate remote supervision, data collection and configuration.

Each topic to be investigated will cover literature survey, design/implementation and experimental demonstration. Students working on these projects will use existing functional components and state of the art simulators/emulators, respectively, for (i) underwater acoustic sensor networks and/or (ii) underwater unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), to simulate and visualise typical application scenarios. Underwater acoustic modems and test-beds hosted at the Ocean System Lab will be available for proof-of-concept system validation.

[1] https://research.ncl.ac.uk/usmart/
[2] https://orcahub.org/
[3] http://ais.informatik.uni-freiburg.de/teaching/ss13/robotics/slides/16-g...
[4] A. Ruzzelli, R. Jurdak, M. Dragone, A Barbirato, G.M.P. O’Hare, S. Boivineau, V. Roy, Octopus: A dashboard for sensor networks visual control, In: Proceeding of the 14th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, San Francisco, USA, 2008.

Supervisor name: 
Mauro Dragone
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses: 

Project Type:

Deputy name: 
Prof. Yvan Petillot