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A European research network on key technologies for intervention autonomous underwater vehicles

Reference no: 36186
Period: November 2006 till October 2010
Status: Completed

Thesaurus term: Underwater vehicles
Geographical term: Europe [Marine Regions]

Institute  Top 
  • Hellenic Centre for Marine Research; Institute of Oceanography, more, partner

The purpose of FREESUBNET is to provide a European-wide excellence in quality training to young and experienced researchers in the emerging field of Cooperative Autonomous Intervention Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) which are steadily becoming the tool par excellence to carry out missions at sea without tight human supervision.

Free from the burden of an umbilical cable connecting them to the support ship, they are a quantum leap from widely used cable operated Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). Equipped with actuators and devices for manipulation and interaction with the environment (i.e., for Intervention), they become I-AUVs, a new breed of marine vehicles that has only recently come to the fore and holds great considerable potential for challenging scientific and commercial missions at sea.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles with intervention capabilities are the successors of already widely used Remote Operated Vehicles. An intersectorial consortium with expertise in different but complimentary disciplines (engineering, marine science, physics and informatics) will carry out outstanding research in the context of four strategic application fields (underwater archaeology, maritime security, marine science and energy assessment).

FREESUBNET will establish an interdisciplinary, intersectorial and international network of researchers and end-users that will develop and design the technological bricks needed to allow for new applications and to assure the training of skilled researchers for the future. It is the intention that this network will be a bridge between academia and industry as well as promoting the integration of a fragmentation of research groups throughout Europe.

Interdisciplinarity is a need: A dialogue is needed between the potential end-users from different disciplines and the technology developers in order to assure that the result will target the practical need. To achieve its goal, the FREESUBNET brings to the core of its proposed research and development efforts an intersectorial team of fifteen recognised entities with a well proven track record in theoretical and practical issues that are at the root of I-AUV development for operations.

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