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.

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

General Micro "Horizon" C299

The C299 Horizon is a third generation, 6U cPCI SBC module based on GMS’ upgradable CPU technolog...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

API DC Link Power Film Capacitors

High reliability DC link capacitors for power inverter applications which require superior life e...

VPX3-453 3U VPX Virtex-6/8640D Digital Signal Processor

The Curtiss-Wright VPX3-453 is a high performance 3U VPX DSP and FPGA processor card that combine...

UAS, UAV and Ground Based Robot Antennas

Cobham Antenna Systems have designed and developed a range of antennas for use on UAV, UAS and gr...

Low size, weight, and power (low SWaP) stabilized imaging systems for small manned and unmanned systems Alticam 09MWIR2

Designed for small unmanned aircraft systems. Gyro-stabilized gimbal system featuring mid-wave in...

Electronic Warfare VPX Products

The VPX product line includes three products: Modular Quad IF Up and Down Converter, Modular Dire...

Interpoint™ MTR Series™ 50 Volt

The MTR Series™ MTR 50, 28 volt dc-dc converter offers up to 30 watts of output power from single...

Interpoint™ MFP Series™ Down-Leaded Point of Load

The new down-leaded version of its Interpoint™ MFP Series Point of Load (POL) converters are avai...

DIGITAL TRANSCEIVER MODULES

DTM-Data link modules ranges of products are very compact and plug in solutions for unmanned air ...

Related Companies

General Micro Systems Inc

Since 1979, General Micro Systems has been providing the most diverse line of single-board computers in the industry....

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

API Technologies Corp

Who We Are API Technologies is a dominant technology provider of RF/microwave, microelectronics, and security technol...

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) is a long establish...

Crane Aerospace & Electronics

When failure is NOT an option...rely on Crane Aerospace & Electronics. We supply high-density, high-reliability c...

Delta Digital Video

Designs and manufactures video compression and scan conversion products for aerospace applications. Develops standard...

GE Intelligent Platforms

Provides embedded computing solutions. Products include single-board computers, networking products, avionics interfa...

Advanced Microwave Products

Designs and manufactures microwave transmitters and receivers for military, UVS, UAV, UGV, and surveillance applicati...

UAVDirect

UAVDirect is a provider of unmanned aerial vehicles specifically designed for aerial photography, aerial cinematograp...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
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

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
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