USE Network launch I UAV Works VALAQ l Cable harnesses l USVs insight l Xponential 2020 update l MARIN AUV l Suter Industries TOA 288 l Vitirover l AI systems l Vtrus ABI

62 T he Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) has for a long time developed autonomous test and demonstration platforms to find better ways of providing independent expertise and scientific consultation to maritime industries. Its newest vehicle, the mAUV (modular AUV), has been designed to carry out research in its in- house model basins into the capabilities of underwater vehicle autonomy and control systems. The battery-electric mAUV has a 3.1 m-long, 0.35 m-wide hull, 12 thrusters, and various sensors, LEDs and other onboard electronics, giving it an approximate displacement of 235 kg. While many UUVs (and other unmanned vehicles) these days are being produced with minimalism and simplicity in mind, the mAUV has come from a blank-sheet design with a range of complex and sophisticated features in its propulsion, navigation, control software and other systems. All these systems have been arranged into a modularly defined AUV architecture, which divides the vehicle into six function-based modules. Starting from the back, these are the main propulsion section, a steering thruster module, the battery pack, a module for control and positioning systems, another steering thruster module and at the front a sensor dome. Such is the modularity of the structure that the MARIN team can change each section of the vehicle at will, for example to test out an experimental subsystem configuration, gather data at new parameters or change the vehicle’s operational envelope and capabilities for an end-user’s particular needs. As Bas De Kruif, senior researcher for autonomy and decision support says, “At a demonstration day we held a while ago, we showed several use-cases for the mAUV. It can inspect docks, survey an area or inspect an object from every possible angle, then move vertically to the surface to transmit its survey data as the nose antenna breaks the surface. “This is enabled by having a full six Rory Jackson looks at the latest steps these Dutch researchers have taken to test methods of subsea vehicle autonomy and control In-house expertise June/July 2020 | Unmanned Systems Technology