Autonomous Operation of a Coordinated Underwater Glider Fleet

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Webb Research Corp.
82 Technology Park Drive, East Falmouth, MA, 02536
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Clayton Jones
Project Engineer
(508) 548-2077
Business Contact:
Douglas Webb
(508) 548-2077
Research Institution:
Rutgers University
Scott Glenn
Institute of Coastal Sciences
New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
(732) 932-6555
Nonprofit college or university
"Webb Research Corporation (WRC) and Rutgers University (RU) are providing an important advance in regional-scale coastal ocean observation programs by operating a coordinated fleet of glider AUVs in an intelligent adaptive network. Slocum autonomousunderwater vehicle Gliders (AUVGs) are uniquely mobile network components capable of moving to specific locations and depths, occupying controlled spatial and temporal grids. A fleet of Slocum Gliders is being constructed by WRC and will be utilized at RUfor operation within the developing regional-scale (300 km x 300 km) New Jersey Shelf Observing System (NJSOS). We are building the tools to best operate a coordinated fleet of Gliders beneath the spatially-extensive regional remote sensing systems givencues from multiple real-time datasets and model forecasts. This requires the development and testing of (a) new compact and low-power physical, chemical, and bio-optical sensors for the Gliders, (b) ocean feature detection software to provide the cues andresponse on an individual and fleet scale, (c) new bi-directional robust communications systems, and (d) a networked autonomous Glider command/control center. Phase I designed these systems using experience gained and data collected during the summers of1999-2001. Phase II focuses on operational transition into the regional-scale NJSOS Coastal Predictive Skill Experiments in 2004 as well as Phase III commercialization.BENEFITS: This research will culminate in a low-cost, high endurance, critical tool forNavy Fleet purposes that are well supported by operations software. Ease and automation of operations with regard to needed sensor data sets will leverage commercial viability. In addition, practical products such as satellite ground truthing, and thirddimension data analysis will demonstrate functionality of a fleet of gliders. Several Universities and groups now have Slocum Battery Gliders as littoral survey vehicles that report environmental information from such sensors as CTDs, a proposed red tidedetector, optical sensors (fluorome

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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