The HullBug, A Miniature Underwater Vehicle for the Inspection of Ships Hulls
Searobotics has been active in ocean based autonomous systems for over 10 years. The development of the Hull Inspection System described by SBIR Topic N08-182 is accomplished through the continued research and development, and enhancement of the Hull Underwater Biomimetic Underwater Grooming (HullBUG) System under development by the Office of Naval Research. The HullBUG development project is focused on mitigation of the environmental and practical problems associated with the biological fouling of the underwater portion of a ship hull. The result of the afore mentioned research is an autonomous underwater vehicle system comprised of a system and software architecture, as well as a vehicle platform, which allows for adaptation for the purpose of adding new sensors and autonomous behaviors. The HullBUG for Hull Husbandry (H3) is a further enhancement of the grooming focused HullBUG system that will address the specific problems posed by the hull inspection task. This vehicle has the capability of navigation on the underside of a ship hull for the purpose of inspection and documentation of a range of parameters important for hull husbandry. This proposal will take the technology and deliver a prototype vehicle fully capable of achieving these tasks.
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