Page 63: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2014)

Instrumentation: Measurement, Process & Analysis

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dimensions has the potential to provide signiÞ cant improvements in the detec- tion, classiÞ cation and identiÞ cation of small seabed objects. For example, KrakenÕs INSIGHT software produces co-registered bathymetric maps with horizontal resolution as low as 5x5 cm. AquaPix data from an InSAS bathy-metric survey conducted by AustraliaÕs Defense Science and Technology Or- ganisation (DSTO) is shown in Figure 2, which illustrates the enhanced level of detail compared to a conventional hy- drographic survey. Over the past decade, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have evolved from technology demonstrators to commercial products that are rou-tinely used for operational survey work. AUVs offer many advantages compared to towed or ship-mounted systems, such as ease of deployment, reduced need for human intervention and lower operating cost. A further advantage for military operations is the ability to forward-de- ploy an unmanned system into poten- tially hostile waters. An AUV solution is particularly attractive for minehunting compared to the conventional approach of towing a sensor through a mineÞ eld using a manned surface vessel. Howev- er, one challenging aspect of untethered operation is the greatly reduced commu-nication bandwidth between the vehicle and the operator. The volume of data collected during survey missions is typi- cally too large to be transferred through an acoustic communication system while the vehicle is submerged. Remov- able storage modules allow data to be rapidly downloaded when the vehicle is recovered to swap batteries. However, a bottleneck remains as many hours of data needs to be processed at once.Compared to Remotely Operated Ve- hicles (ROVs), AUVs have seen much Marine Technology Reporter 63MTR #2 (50-65).indd 63MTR #2 (50-65).indd 632/24/2014 9:53:54 AM2/24/2014 9:53:54 AM

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