Starbug X AUV: field trials and analysis of in-situ multi-channel AUV data
Marouchos, A and Underwood, M and Babcock, R, Starbug X AUV: field trials and analysis of in-situ multi-channel AUV data, Proceedings of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles 2016, 06-09 November, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 76-80. ISSN 2377-6536 (2016) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are increasingly being deployed in the study of inshore coastal marine habitats. Combined with shipboard systems, scientists are able to make in situ measurements of water column and benthic properties. In CSIRO autonomous gliders are used to collect water column data, while surface vessels are used to collect bathymetry information through the use of swath mapping, bottom grabs, and towed video systems. Although these methods have provided good data coverage for coastal and deep waters beyond 50m, there has been an increasing need for autonomous in-situ sampling in waters less than 50m. In addition, the collection of benthic and water column data has been conducted separately, and requires scientists to postprocess data in lab. A new system was needed to allow for insitu observations of both benthic habitat and water column properties in shallow waters. CSIRO has developed an AUV (Starbug X) to deliver enhanced observation capabilities of both benthic habitats and water column properties. The system is equipped with a range of built-in sensors as well as two sets of cameras allowing for the collection of multi-parameter observations. Crucially, the in-situ collection of benthic and water column data allow scientists to better relate water quality to changes in the benthic habitat. This paper discusses the development and use of a software tool that streamlines the analysis and visualization of vehicle multi-channel data stream; the STarbUg Analysis & Reporting Tool (STUART). In addition, future developments in vision based navigation, mission planning, and the integration of water column data is discussed. Finally the paper discusses how Starbug X and future STUART development fill a much needed capability gap in CSIRO's existing integrated ocean observing systems.
Refereed Conference Paper
data visualization, ecosystems, imaging techniques, vehicles, water quality