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IKTPLUSS-IKT og digital innovasjon

Robotics underneath sub-zero waters and outer space

Alternative title: Undervannsrobotikk for islagt hav og verdensrommet

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

Ocean worlds are a programme pertaining to exploring the oceans of our solar system, not only earth. To do so, we seek synergies between robotics and communication required to explore both the earth and ocean worlds in space. It will be necessary to communicate through different types of ice, requiring technologies that are not yet available. To explore the oceans we will use Autonomous Underwater Vehicles(AUV). However, today’s AUVs do not have sufficient sensing and navigation capabilities to detect and avoid small hazards, nor sensors for penetrating ice. This project will address these challenges working with top researchers in robotics-, artificial intelligence- and autonomy communities. We will use field testing at Svalbard as a strategic platform for future space missions, but also as an instrumented site for robotics in icy environments. We seek close synergies between the large Norwegian commitment to ocean research in Trondheimsfjorden through Ocean Space Centre and the lab facilities at Mustad Autoline. This will allow us to perform near mission situation in controlled environments, where we contribute novel technologies for exploring and communicating in the different scenarios. The highly competent US-Norway consortium is dedicated to making this project a success. Kongsberg Gruppen will enhance their role as a technology provider for Space missions for both ESA and NASA, while enabling NASA-JPL to provide technology to explore the ocean worlds, specifically Enceladus and Europa. NTNU will get the opportunity to do more advanced operations in the arctic, and en UiO's, SINTEF's and NPI's instrumentation of glaciers at Svalbard will be strengthened. Together we will advance the state of the art within robotics and provide new methods to screen for underwater minerals and provide better biomass estimation for stock assessment and lay grounds for smart fisheries globally.

Ocean worlds are a programme pertaining to exploring the oceans of our solar system, not only earth. To do so we seek synergies between robotics and communication required to explore both the earth and ocean worlds in space. Communication through ice as a medium in a vertical column is impossible with current technologies requiring pushing what is currently state of the art. Furthermore, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles does not have enough resolutions in its forward facing sensors to detect small hazards, nor sensors for penetrating ice. Thus, this project will contribute multifaceted research benefiting the robotics-, artificial intelligence- and autonomy communities. We hope that these systems can also be used to help bathymetry mapping and stock estimation in the future. The research in this project will make use of existing datasets gathered from RCN projects such as SaaS (Sonar as a Service), where we will devise a hybrid analytic system based on existing data so that we can improve upon the signal processing in acoustic sensors regarding biomass estimation and detection of organic life. We will use field testing at Svalbard as a strategic platform for future space missions, but also as an instrumented site for robotics in icy environments. Furthermore, we seek close synergies between the large Norwegian commitment to ocean research in Trondheimsfjorden through Ocean Space Centre and the lab facilities at Mustad Autoline. This will allow us to perform near mission situation in controlled environments, where we contribute novel technologies for exploring and communicating in the different scenarios. The results will be disseminated through PhDs, conferences, scientific papers and as commercial hardware and software

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IKTPLUSS-IKT og digital innovasjon