Germany’s EvoLogics and Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon have announced the Quadroin, the next-generation bionic AUV for environmental monitoring.
A year ago, Prof. Burkard Baschek teamed up with EvoLogics to develop these sensor carrying AUVs for the Helmholtz Association’s MOSES initiative.
MOSES – the Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems – is a novel observing system, developed by the nine Helmholtz research centres across Germany.
The system comprises highly flexible and mobile observation modules which are specifically designed to investigate the interactions of short-term events and long-term trends across the Earth.
Heat waves, hydrological extremes, ocean eddies and permafrost thaw are in the focus of this new event-oriented observation and research initiative. The objective is to build up an infrastructure that is capable of capturing with as much detail as possible the direct impact of such events on environmental systems.
One of this observation system’s modules will be a mobile swarm of several Quadroin autonomous underwater vehicles to collect data in ocean eddies.
The new “Quadroin” is based on EvoLogics’ low-drag bionic AUV design. Its outstanding hydrodynamic properties stem from years of research into penguin locomotion.
The Quadroin vehicle carries a payload of fast Sea & Sun sensors to measure temperature, pressure, oxygen, conductivity and fluorescence, and achieves speeds of up to 5 meters per second.
The low-drag penguin-shaped design allows to minimize energy consumption and facilitates flexible deployments at sea. The swarm of small, fast and maneuverable Quadroin AUVs is to operate in the study area over extended periods without returning to the surface. In a formation, the swarm will scan the water body layer by layer, collecting geo-referenced data on the physical water parameters at different depth horizons. Data is to be transmitted to Hereon over a base station at the surface.
As of May 2021, the first Quadroin was developed and tested both in tank and open water environments. More vehicles are being built to proceed to the next development phases of swarm operation.
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