- Project Dates: April 2013 - May 2014
- Project Leader: Dr Cheng Siong Chin
- Sponsors: ST Electronics, Singapore
- Partners: ST Electronics, Singapore
In the last few decades, the applications of these multi-disciplinary underwater robotic vehicles have experienced tremendous growth. Many are used for underwater inspection of sub-sea cables, oil and gas installations like Christmas trees, structures and pipelines. They are essential at depths where the use of human divers is impractical. Based on the designed tasks and modes of operations, engineers and researchers have broadly classified the URV as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Nevertheless, ROV are best suited for work that involves operating from a stationary point or cruising at relatively slow speeds such as pipeline inspection where the hard wire link is still required. For any tasks involving manipulation and requiring maneuverability as well as more control through man-in-the-loop, they are the most cost-effective platform.
However for search and rescue (SAR) applications, the application of both ROV and AUV are very important. The need for the system to enable routine SAR missions with a greater reliance on technology, rather than crewed workboats and expensive on-site labor, has been recognized for some time. The ROV can be used for launching and retrieving the AUV that cover on-site search and recuse mission before returning back to the launch point. In order to accomplish the mission successfully and safely, the project aims to build an engineering prototype to demonstrate its feasibility in particular docking system (i.e. ROV) control system to autonomously align the docking hoop in the path of the AUV.