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Sea trials of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to be conducted this month-end

2 January 2011

KOCHI: The sea trials of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) designed and developed by the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur — a constituent establishment of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) — are slated to begin off the Chennai coast during the last week of January.

The ‘AUV-150,’ as the prototype is named, is built to operate 150 metres under the sea. It was developed in technical collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.

The performance parameters of the lab-scale model, developed by IIT, acted as a precursor to the prototype developed by CSIR-CMERI. The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The cylindrical AUV is capable of independently carrying out a plethora of underwater operations, including ocean floor-mapping, surveillance activities and oceanographic studies, based on data gathered using its onboard sensors.

The AUV underwent a series of sheltered water trials at the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Underwater Acoustic Research Facility (UARF) at Kerala’s Idukki Reservoir over the last two years. The final leg of the still-water trials was conducted in the reservoir between September and October 2010.

CMERI Director Gautam Biswas said: “The National Institute of Ocean Technology [NIOT] earlier developed a Remotely Operated Vehicle [ROV] with the capability to dive much deeper. Our vehicle, however, is different in that it is not remotely operated from a control station ashore. It has an onboard computer that can be pre-programmed to carry out specific tasks, which makes it a smart vehicle endowed with the ability to devise its own stratagems to execute a mission. The payload and the configuration are determined by the nature of the mission it is tasked with.”

During the sea trials, the AUV’s image processing capability would be assessed.

“Besides, its capacity to model environmental parameters such as temperature gradient, current, depth and salinity gradient would be scrutinised. Once the technology is proven through extensive sea trials, the AUV can be customised for applications like close-to-coast undersea monitoring, mine countermeasures, cable and pipeline surveys, besides a host of oceanographic studies,” Professor Biswas said….

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/article1025416.ece

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Written by csirindia

January 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Posted in CMERI

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