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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Networked Robotic Sensor Platform Deployments for use in Coastal Environmental Assessment in Southern California


Mobile sensor platforms such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and robotic surface vessels, combined with static moored sensors compose a diverse sensor network that is able to provide macroscopic environmental analysis tool for ocean researchers. Working as a cohesive networked unit, the static buoys are always online, and provide insight as to the time and locations where a federated, mobile robot team should be deployed to effectively perform large scale spatio-temporal sampling on demand. Such a system can provide pertinent in situ measurements to marine biologists whom can then advise policy makers on critical environmental issues. This poster presents recent field deployment activity of AUVs demonstrating the effectiveness of our embedded communication network infrastructure throughout southern California coastal waters. We also report on progress towards real-time, web-streaming data from the multiple sampling locations and mobile sensor platforms. Static monitoring sites included in this presentation detail the network nodes positioned at Redondo Beach and Marina Del Ray. One of the deployed mobile sensors highlighted here are autonomous Slocum gliders. These nodes operate in the open ocean for periods as long as one month. The gliders are connected to the network via a Freewave radio modem network composed of multiple coastal base-stations. This increases the efficiency of deployment missions by reducing operational expenses via reduced reliability on satellite phones for communication, as well as increasing the rate and amount of data that can be transferred. Another mobile sensor platform presented in this study are the autonomous robotic boats. These platforms are utilized for harbor and littoral zone studies, and are capable of performing multi-robot coordination while observing known communication constraints. All of these pieces fit together to present an overview of ongoing collaborative work to develop an autonomous, region-wide, coastal environmental observation and monitoring sensor network.

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