LANDER AUV: Autonomus underwater vehicle for seabed landing and persistence

Project reference: DPI2014-61604-EXP
: Universitat de Girona
Budget: 50.000€
Duration: 2 years


Only 5% of oceans have been explored. Unmanned underwater vehicles are everyday more and more used for scientific and industrial purposes, although new kinds of vehicles are required to increase the number of applications and needs. ROVs are used in teleoperation from the surface, and allow the exploration of the seabed, however at high costs and requiring complex infrastructures. AUVs allow the survey areas in autonomous mode, but they have not been designed to observe statically the seabed as ROVs do. Gliders are able to operate during long periods of time, registering data, but only in the water column. Finally, USVs work in the sea surface and can also operate long periods depending on the propulsion technology.


However, there is not any vehicle nowadays which is autonomous and can explore the seabed like ROVs do, and moreover can also operate for long periods of time like Gliders or USVs do. This project proposes an alternative AUV desing, the LANDER AUV, able to land on the seabed and remain on it.


This vehicle will use a complex propulsion system combining a swim bladder, two propellers and a joint to change the vehicles shape. Moreover, it will have a support to rest on the seabed. The correct alignment of the gravity and bouyancy centres will be critical for the stability and utility of the vehicle.


The Lander AUV will be controlled as an AUV or as a Glider, it will be able to land on the seabed, to remain on it and to take off. Many advantage will offer this vehicle and its application will not only be scientific but also industrial. The project presents a very technologically challenging and risky proposal, and has the unique goal of experimentally validating the Lander AUV concept, as an alternative technology to existent AUVs and ROVs.