Underwater Drones To Assist Port Management Strategy

Researchers from the University of Southampton, UK, have developed ground breaking technology that will enable underwater unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) to scan the oceans and gather environmental analytics to provide the Port of Leixões, Portugal, with data for optimising their port management strategy.

The on-demand UAVs will drive intelligent data analytics to the port, sending observations via the internet to a geo-spatial environmental data fusion platform that prepares data for marine risk analysis allowing rapid response impact analysis.

The information collected by the drones will enable marine analysts to assess accidents, extreme weather events and periodic degradation using internet connectivity, geospatial data fusion and linked data access.

The drones are small enough to be launched by one person and cost less than 10,000 Euros each, allowing them to be pre-configured for marine applications, such as scour and sediment transport analysis.

Professor Michael Boniface, Technical Director at the University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre, UK, commented: “Marine industry stakeholders will collaborate to create a new data value chain that builds on low-cost drones and advanced data analytics to seamlessly connect surveyors, marine analysts and authorities.”

The trial conducted forms part of the research by the European Commission funded SUNRISE EXPOSURES project, which looks into how autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) can drive intelligent data analytics to rapidly assess environmental processes and impacts in marine waterways.

Image: SUNRISE EXPOSURES UAVs. Courtesy of the University of Southampton. 

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