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Kebkal K.G.,Evologics Gmbh | Kebkal K.G.,AO Hydroacoustic Telemetry and Navigation Laboratory | Mashoshin A.I.,Concern CSRI Elektropribor
Gyroscopy and Navigation | Year: 2017

The paper provides an overview of acoustic positioning methods for autonomous underwater vehicles. Their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. © 2017, Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-23-2014 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2015

The WiMUST (Widely scalable Mobile Underwater Sonar Technology) project aims at expanding and improving the functionalities of current cooperative marine robotic systems, effectively enabling distributed acoustic array technologies for geophysical surveying with a view to exploration and geotechnical applications. Recent developments have shown that there is vast potential for groups of marine robots acting in cooperation to drastically improve the methods available for ocean exploration and exploitation. Traditionally, seismic reflection surveying is performed by vessel towed streamers of hydrophones acquiring reflected acoustic signals generated by acoustic sources (either towed or onboard a vessel). In this context, geotechnical surveying for civil and commercial applications (e.g., underwater construction, infrastructure monitoring, mapping for natural hazard assessment, environmental mapping, etc.) aims at seafloor and sub-bottom characterization using towed streamers of fixed length that are extremely cumbersome to operate. The vision underlying the WiMUST proposal is that of developing advanced cooperative and networked control / navigation systems to enable a large number (tens) of marine robots (both on the surface and submerged) to interact by sharing information as a coordinated team (not only in pairs). The WiMUST system may be envisioned as an adaptive variable geometry acoustic array. By allowing the group of surface and submerged vehicles to change their geometrical configuration, an end-user can seamlessly change the geometry of the virtual streamer trailing the emitter, something that has not been achieved in practice and holds potential to drastically improve ocean surveying. The project brings together a group of research institutions, geophysical surveying companies and SMEs with a proven track record in autonomous adaptive and robust systems, communications, networked cooperative control and navigation, and marine robot design and fabrication.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-RIA | Phase: ECSEL-01-2014 | Award Amount: 17.29M | Year: 2015

Nowadays, the major part of offshore operations is done by divers in dangerous missions. Since their number is limited, the dependency on their work represents a real threat to the offshore industry. The extended use of unmanned underwater vehicles (AUVs/ROVs) could solve this problem but since they are usually tailor-made for a specific task and difficult to operate their deployment is very expensive. The overall goal of the SWARMs project is to expand the use of AUVs/ROVs and facilitate the creation, planning and execution of maritime and offshore operations. This will reduce the operational cost and increase the safety of tasks assigned to divers. The SWARMs project aims to make AUVs/ROVs accessible to more users by: Enabling AUVs/ROVs to work in a cooperative mesh thus opening up new applications and ensuring re-usability as no specialized vehicles are needed but heterogeneous standard vehicles can combine their capabilities, Increasing the autonomy of AUVs and improving the usability of ROVs The approach is to design and develop an integrated platform (a set of Software/Hardware components), incorporated into the current generation of underwater vehicles in order to improve autonomy, cooperation, robustness, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of the offshore operations. SWARMs achievements will be demonstrated in two field tests in different scenarios: Inspection, maintenance and repair of offshore infrastructure Pollution monitoring Offshore construction operations SWARMs is an industry-led project: big technology companies will collaborate with SMEs specialized in the subsea, robotics and communication sectors and universities and research institutions to ensure that the newest innovations in subsea robotics will arrive fast to market. As voice of the customer, two end-users are also part of the consortium.

Cruz N.A.,INESC Porto | Ferreira B.M.,INESC Porto | Kebkal O.,Evologics Gmbh | Matos A.C.,INESC Porto | And 3 more authors.
Marine Technology Society Journal | Year: 2013

In this paper, we investigate the creation of an underwater acoustic network to support marine operations based on static and mobile nodes. Each underwater device combines communication, networking, and sensing capabilities and cooperates with the other devices in coordinated missions. The proposed system is built upon the SUNSET framework, providing acoustic communications and networking capabilities to autonomous underwater vehicles, autonomous surface vessels, and moored systems, using underwater acoustic modems. Specific solutions have been developed and tested to control the underwater nodes acoustically and to instruct the vehicles on keeping a given formation using acoustic links. One of the novelties of our approach has been the development and utilization of a realistic simulation infrastructure to provide a very accurate representation of all the dynamic systems involved in the network, modeling the vehicle dynamics, the acoustic channel, and the communication messages. This infrastructure has been extensively used to investigate and validate the proposed solutions under different environmental conditions before the actual deployment of devices. Several experiments were then conducted in the laboratory and in the field. The experimental results have confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed solutions and the reliability of the proposed simulation framework in estimating system performance.

The market of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) is expanding, with more and more remotely controlled and autonomous USVs becoming available as commercial products. While environmental monitoring and data collection remain the primary target for lightweight USVs, EvoLogics recently tried out a rather untypical, but very promising approach for using its Sonobot: the vehicle turned out to be well suited for calibration and testing of long-baseline (LBL) positioning systems, opening a wide range of new applications.

Kebkal K.G.,Evologics Gmbh | Kebkal O.G.,Evologics Gmbh
OCEANS 2014 - TAIPEI | Year: 2014

Modern underwater acoustic modems, besides transmitting and receiving data, are capable for measuring signal propagation time and thus also for evaluation of the distance between the transmitter and the receiver. Such capabilities can be exploited for synchronization of underwater acoustic sensor networks, where sensing and actuation must be coordinated across multiple nodes. However such problem, as accuracy of propagation time measurement, especially in reverberant environments, have been investigated rather poorly. Main objectives of this paper consist in analytical and experimental evaluation of the accuracy of propagation time measurements during bidirectional data exchange between underwater acoustic modems via synchronous instant messages. © 2014 IEEE.

Kebkal O.,Evologics Gmbh | Kebkal V.,Evologics Gmbh | Kebkal K.,Evologics Gmbh
MTS/IEEE OCEANS 2015 - Genova: Discovering Sustainable Ocean Energy for a New World | Year: 2015

Communication and positioning protocols for underwater acoustic sensor networks are widely covered in the scientific papers during the last decade and partly implemented in a few proprietary and open-source networking frameworks. The different protocols to be combined in a stack running on an acoustic modems' hardware and thus to solve various tasks of practical interest. This paper presents a novel framework for underwater acoustic sensor networks and positioning systems, designed as lightweight yet efficient and easily extensible tool. Evologics intelligent Networking Software Framework (EviNS Framework) follows a paradigm of event driven programming, each module is explicitly defined in form of a pushdown automata and is driven purely by discrete events generated internally by event handles, by timers or externally by interface processors. The task of the interface processor is to provide the mechanism to receive and parse this data, and pass it to the module. The task of the module is to handle this event, update the state and pass back to the interface processor tuples, to be converted to the appropriate format and delivered via the appropriate interface. The framework has relatively moderate system requirements and can be run directly on the EvoLogics acoustic modems' hardware or can be used with the DMACE a real-time emulator of EvoLogics underwater acoustic modems. The emulator provides a fully-featured emulation of the data-link layer and includes a phenomenological simulator of the physical layer that accounts for signal propagation delays, multipath propagation, data packet collisions, packet synchronization errors and bit errors with a user-defined bit error rate. EviNS along with the DMACE builds comprehensive set of tools for development, testing, deployment and operation of a great variety of communication and positioning solutions for underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASN). Open source modules supporting other acoustic modems can be added by the modem suppliers or keen developers. The paper explains the reasons of the programming language choice and its implications on the framework features. The frameworks architecture is presented with several implementation examples of known MAC protocols for UASN. © 2015 IEEE.

Kebkal K.G.,Evologics Gmbh | Kebkal O.G.,Evologics Gmbh | Petroccia R.,University of Rome La Sapienza
MTS/IEEE OCEANS 2015 - Genova: Discovering Sustainable Ocean Energy for a New World | Year: 2015

Characteristics of an underwater acoustic channel, which hydro-acoustic modems of the S2C technology can measure and provide to upper layer protocols, were used for evaluation of several important communication metrics and so for evaluation of the modem performance under the actual channel conditions. Particularly, these channel characteristics were used for assessment of the delivery success related to the measured signal integrity, the signal-to-interference ratio, and the variance of excess propagation delays of the multipath arrivals. Paper presents experimental results on the use of Instant Messages for the characterisation of the underwater acoustic channel during data exchange between multiple nodes of an underwater acoustic network. Experiments were carried out in conditions of reverberant underwater acoustic channels using the modems, type Evologics S2CR18/34, during the NATO CommsNet13 sea campaign, organized by the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and conducted in September 2013 off the coast of the Palmaria Island in the Mediterranean Sea. © 2015 IEEE.

Evologics Gmbh | Date: 2011-03-03

The invention relates to a release apparatus for a load on a device, in particular on an underwater device, having a hook device, with which a hook is mounted on a hook-holding device such that it can rotate about a rotational axis and can be displaced between a closed and a released position by rotation about the rotational axis with the aid of a hook actuation mechanism, a load rest, which is formed on the hook and in which a holding element of the load rests when in the non-released state, and a restricted guidance device, which is configured to guide the load in an ejection direction when released, wherein, when the holding element of the load rests on the load rest, the hook in the closed position is torque-free with respect to a torque exerted by the load on the hook in relation to the rotation about the rotational axis. An underwater device having the release apparatus is also created.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.1.7 | Award Amount: 6.49M | Year: 2013

We must learn to both sustainably exploit & protect our vast oceans, provider of oxygen, food, hydrocarbons & other resources. A solution lies in sensing & interacting through an Internet of Things, with distributed networks of intelligent sensors & actuators. Unfortunately, we currently lack a marine Internet, crucial to achieve distributed, coordinated & adaptive control, due to the rapid absorption of light & radio waves in seawater.\n\nThe SUNRISE objectives are to develop:\n5 federated underwater (UW) communication networks (CommsNet), based on pilot infrastructure already designed, built & deployed by consortium partners, in diverse environments, web-accessible & interfaced with existing FIRE facilities to experiment with Future Internet technologies.\nA software-defined open-architecture modem & protocol stack that will empower open collaborative developments.\nStandard platforms for simulation, emulation & replay testing to estimate CommsNet performance at a fraction of current at-sea experiments, validated by tests conducted on the SUNRISE networks over a variety of applications & environments.\nA user-friendly interface for diverse users to interact with SUNRISE systems to conduct trials & benefit from databases of CommsNet performance data gathered over long periods from the SUNRISE infrastructure.\n\nSUNRISE directly addresses FIRE objectives by combining technology with novel paradigms in new, open experimental facilities, integrating physical systems with software development in a new physical domain. SUNRISE will provide a way to select UW CommsNet standards based on objective measures of performance, strengthening as more sites are added in the future. The SUNRISE network will remain key for UW Internet development long after the project ends, with broad involvement of researchers, manufacturers & users ensuring that appropriate technologies are developed, selected & implemented in products that support sustainable maritime exploitation and management.

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