“Black Sea First Demonstrator” tests have taken place at Mangalia (Romania) from 3rd to the 11th of July 2017. These tests compose the second stage into the SWARMs (http://www.swarms.eu/) European project development and have been performed in the Black Sea.
As a part of these tests, real environment (open sea and port area) missions have been performed to continue and expand the use of underwater and overwater unmanned vehicles (AUV, ROV, USVs) as operators for maritime and off-shore operations and to validate different technological achievements developed in project’s second year supported by first set of tests performed in 2016 at Gran Canaria.
A first validation of SWARMs system composed by two AUVs, two ROVs, a surface node (USV) and its associated acoustic and radio communications system for transmitting and sharing commands and data according a pre-established mission has been accomplished.
Command and Control Center
TTI, as chief overwater communications design and development partner has tested different setups and configurations for the wireless radio link communications network linking SWARMs static and mobile surface nodes (relay point, USVs, buoy, support boats,etc). Several enhanced layouts and configurations (server-client, repeater mode,etc) have been deployed assuring faultlessly communications and remote access between underwater robots and Command and Control Station installed ashore.
Communications equipment installed on support boats and the USV
These tests have proven that proposed radio-communications system is reliable and stable enough to be deployed in open sea environment even in NLOS Line-of-Sight conditions. Bandwidth and throughput required for transmitting/receiving data such as sonar information, state vector, tasks or video between underwater vehicles (AUVs and ROVs) and the Command and Control Center was provided by this low latency and stable communications system.
Also,together with all other project partners, TTI took part in the 2nd SWARMs Technical Review (held on 12th of July) with the European Commission. As a part of this review, a final demonstration was performed. This demonstration consisted on characterizing the H2S concentration in the operations area, mapping the seabed and transmitting real-time images, video and sonar information from underwater vehicles to Command and Control Center.
ROVs y AUVs involved in tests
After this first validation and based on the successful acquired results, TTI together with the rest of project partners keeps working to achieve the project global goals and setup the final demonstration that will take place next year in Norway.
SWARMs team at Black Sea First Demonstrator