Navy looks to Bluefin for enhanced UUV technology to inspect hulls of ships at anchor

ARLINGTON, Va., 26 Feb. 2013. U.S. Navy researchers needed improvements to a hovering unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) to continue investigations in untethered inspection of ship hulls below the water line. They found their solution from unmanned vehicles specialist Bluefin Robotics Corp. in Quincy, Mass.

Officials of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., are awarding a $3.1 million contract to Bluefin to make improvements to the company's Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle 1 (HAUV1) for ONR's Autonomous Un-Tethered Inspection Of The Non-Complex Area Of A Ship Hull With The HAUV1 program.

The contract calls for Bluefin to make modifications to the company's Hull Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Localization System-3 (HULS3) UUV to support research efforts by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Researchers at MIT and Michigan are conducting a variety of experiments with hovering UUVs involving command-and-control software, imaging sensors, imaging sonar, underwater navigation, and the ability for the UUV to compensate for drift and underwater currents.

Navy researchers ultimately want to develop capability for an untethered hovering UUV like the Bluefin HAUV to inspect the hulls of ships at anchor for terrorist-emplaced bombs or other suspicious and potential damaging objects.

The Bluefin HAUV has a Doppler velocity log (DVL), an imaging sonar, a ring laser gyro (internal), an optical camera and a light strobe. The sonar and DVL can be actuated independently to optimally align the sensors to the surface being inspected.

Bluefin Robotics and MIT have built a ship hull inspection vehicle, called the hovering autonomous underwater vehicle (HAUV), which is equipped with a Doppler velocity log (DVL) to measure velocity relative to a surface, a ring laser gyro for attitude measurements, and a dual frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) for imaging structures.

The HAUV uses its gyro and DVL sensors to estimate its position and heading, which unfortunately results in drift over time. Researchers cannot use a magnetic compass to compensate for drift because such a device performs poorly near the large metal structures of ship hulls.

The vehicle estimates its heading by integrating the rotation rates from the gyro, and estimates its position by dead reckoning using its heading estimate together with the velocities reported by the DVL.

Using only onboard sensors for navigation, the UUV uses the ship hull for global positioning by using images of the ship's hull from the imaging sonar.

MIT researchers have used an approach to drift-free navigation that consists of sonar scan matching to obtain geometric alignment between sonar frames, and the actual pose estimation that solves the resulting SLAM problem.

When a ship hull has been mapped in a previous session, the recorded data can be used to detect changes on the hull, making it easier to identify potential targets in the ship inspection mode, MIT researchers say.

For more information contact Bluefin Robotics online at www.bluefinrobotics.com, MIT at www.mit.edu, or the Office of Naval Research at www.onr.navy.mil.


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XCalibur4500 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4500 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XPedite7501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled XMC Module

The XPedite7501 is a high-performance, low-power, XMC module based on the 5th generation Intel® C...

XCalibur4501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4501 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XPedite7570 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module

The XPedite7570 is a high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the 5th genera...

XPedite7530 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U CompactPCI Module

The XPedite7530 is a high-performance 3U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugge...

XCalibur4540 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur4540 is a high-performance, 6U OpenVPX™, multiprocessing, single board computer that ...

XPedite7572 | 5th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module with SecureCOTS™

The XPedite7572 is a secure and high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

Medusa VPX3424

The AcQ Inducom “Medusa”VPX3424 is a 3U OpenVPX™ Single Board Computer (SBC) featuring the T4240 ...

XChange3100 | 6U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch with Optional Layer 2 Switching and Layer 3 Routing Management Support

The XChange3100 is a conduction- or air-cooled, 6U OpenVPX™ 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch module. Th...

XCalibur4401 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Single Board Computer

The XCalibur4401 is a high-performance, 6U CompactPCI, multiprocessing, single board computer tha...

Related Companies

AcQ Inducom

Develops and produces non-certified and certified high-tech modular hardware- and software solutions for on-board and...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

Advanced Conversion Technology Inc

ACT designs and manufactures, since 1981, an extensive range of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies (switching, linear, ra...

JuiceBox Energy Inc

JuiceBox Energy develops, engineers and manufactures advanced energy storage systems for residential, government and ...

Reynard Corp

Manufactures custom precision optical components and thin-film coatings 0.2–50 µm (UV to far-IR) to demanding specifi...

Active Silicon Inc

Designs and manufactures frame grabbers and embedded vision systems in PCI express, PCI/104-express, PMC, cPCI and C...

Electronic Development Labs Inc (EDL)

Since 1943, EDL has strived to provide quality products, outstanding customer service, and superior technical support...

Streamline Circuits Corp

Streamline Circuits is a leading provider of high quality printed circuit boards. Streamline Circuits is committed to...

ProMation Engineering Inc

Manufactures a wide array of reliable industrial dual acting electric actuators including quarter-turn, failsafe quar...

Powell Electronics

An authorized electronic component distributor and experts of military connectors, switches, sensors and relays. Trac...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

The Latest from Paris Air Show 2015

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

May 2015
Volume 26, Issue 5
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE