Autonomous Hydrographic Mapping
In the years to come, a large national hydrographic mapping project covering waters close to the shoreline will be launched. Standard ship-based equipment will be used when appropriate. However, the nature of the Swedish coast with archipelagos sometimes calls for lighter systems e.g. in shallow, confined areas. The project addresses hydrographic mapping in these areas and lakes etc. The project concerns an autonomous measurement platform (boat) to be equipped with e.g. multi-beam sonar(s), motion sensors and navigation systems, which follows predefined measurement missions and logs data onboard for post-processing ashore. The proposed (first phase) of the project will focus on the platform itself with only rudimentary payload for demonstration purposes.
The project starting point is the definition of requirements for an operational demonstrator-level system tailored for Swedish coastal, archipelagic and lake conditions at water depths of about 0-10 m. This e.g. implies a system manageable by two operators and a standard boat trailer. The project concentrates on the platform itself, handling issues, safety, propulsion, navigation, guidance and control. The project will terminate in demonstration of functionality and lessons learned from design and field-trials with a functional demonstrator platform with single beam echo sounder as payload-demonstrator.
One part of the project especially concerns the methodology and behaviour of the vehicle to ensure rubust enough strategies for the guidance of the vehicle in unknown territory such as a region of the archipelago. The vehicle must be capable of performing autonomous mapping without relying on real-time instructions from operator.