Nobody doubts that the blue economy will play a key role in our society. Oceans cover 70% of the earth’s surface and they also provide a huge potential for large scale production of renewable energy (wind, wave, tidal, floating solar, etc.). Oceans can also counterbalance droughts and freshwater shortage by desalination installations. Moreover, clean shipping will be an indispensable element to come to a carbon neutral transport system and clean air in densely populated coastal regions. With oceans and seas playing a major role in climate regulation, blue technologies are an important driver for economic growth with a clear shift towards innovative and sustainable solutions.
Our project goes one step beyond current perspective, envisioning a fascinating underwater world to be Conquered, Respected and Preserved (CRP). The first element of this triple goal, to conquer, constitutes a huge challenge in one of the most hostile media for research activities related to navigation and communication.
The physical means for that purpose is a swarm of low-size, low cost, autonomous vehicles responsible of managing coordinated activities, supporting research in the area, providing services like positioning, data collection, batteries recharging for deployed fixed or mobile nodes… without direct intervention of humans. The swarm will act as a unique and decentralized system, where the collective information will be spread on the individuals. The swarm will autonomously decide where to deploy every individual, and it will adapt its spatial coverage based on the status of the environment and its needs.
The general objectives of the proposal are all oriented to design, build, integrate and validate the concept of swarms of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) for coordinated activities.