AUVs are Central to Lisbon Security Program

Posted by Irina Tabakina

Two Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), specifically developed for the SUPPORT (Security UPgrade for PORTS) project, an integrated four-year research and development project, partially funded by the European Commission’s FP7 Security Research Program, were demonstrated at the Port of Lisbon on May 22. Coordinated by BMT Group Ltd. (BMT), SUPPORT has been exploring the use of AUVs to help address the issue of underwater threats in ports, reaping from the expertise which was drawn from the recent SHOAL project. In partnership with Bristol Robotics Laboratory and SonarSim, BMT has designed a cost effective prototype which utilizes intelligent algorithms and behavior in order to leverage as much as possible from low-cost sensors.
“A common issue with security solutions and AUVs is the high cost of systems, therefore it was important for us to look at ways of designing a low cost solution which could help improve overall port security,” said Luke Speller, Senior Research Scientist at BMT Group.
“A distinct differentiator is the AUV’s ability to multitask. Not only will it be possible for the AUV to provide 24-hour surveillance and monitor port infrastructure for particular threats such as UIEDs (Underwater Improvised Explosion Devices), ports around the world could potentially use this intelligent machine to monitor pollution, conduct radiation testing or inspect the hull of a ship.”

(As published in the June 2014 edition of Marine Technology Reporter -

Marine Technology Magazine, page 18,  Jun 2014

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