Eighth Coffee with EUMR

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Advanced Mapping of Complex Marine Structures

Dr. Chris McGonigle


Remote sensing of complex 3D morphologies underwater is a rapidly advancing field. Ecological monitoring, maritime cultural heritage, and subsea metrology of fixed assets are some of the range of potential applications, in addition to establishing a baseline against which to observe future environmental change. Through this TNA agreement, our science team have been able to undertake multidisciplinary mapping of two WWI shipwrecks in the Malin Sea, (NW Ireland) in order to understand more about how they are functioning as complex habitats for a range of different organisms and invertebrate communities.

This research collaboration work will build on existing state-of-art work University of Limerick, Scottish Association of Marine Sciences and Ulster University in unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) based acoustic mapping, laser scanning and 3D photogrammetry. This work represents the first Irish work on simultaneous acquisition of the three methods on large-scale complex 3D targets that will be surveyed from multiple overlapping lines and orientations. Empirical analysis of the outputs of these survey methodologies will allow for detailed assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each approach, their complementarity and applicability over a range of different material properties from biogenic reef to hard engineering structures.

Inverse Kinematics Approach to Underwater Vehicle Manipulator Systems

Philippe C. Santos


Underwater Vehicle Manipulator Systems are capable of performing a great variety of underwater tasks and form the basis for underwater construction tasks in industries such as Oil & Gas and Renewables. However there is a drive to reach lower Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for these sectors. To achieve the LCOE targets, operators are looking to resident systems with piloting from remote station on shore. These is an increasing research effort aimed at developing completely autonomous approaches to control both the manipulator and the ROV in order to perform these tasks and overcome issues in remote piloting and in communication infrastructures. However, this research also needs to be adaptable to existing fleets of offshore construction vehicles and manipulator systems.

This research talk proposes a new approach to solve the problem of inverse kinematics for UVMS in order to allow autonomous interventions for situations where the ROV cannot be parked / held stationary. The approach is able to set the configuration of the manipulator as well as the ROV position based on a simple and fast algorithm. Trials were performed successfully with a manipulator mounted on a work-class ROV for an underwater monitoring task in the Portroe Quary, Ireland.