While deploying 6 of our AUEs on a stereo recording rig at 16m depth, we happened to capture a whale swimming near the surface above the AUEs. Tristan Hiatt processed the acoustic data from the AUEs into a great stereo track and overlayed it on a video of the event recorded from the boat. Have a look and listen below, you’ll see and hear the whale coming to the surface. It’s best with headphones!
Successful Field Tests with Free-Drifting Mini-AUEs
On Monday we completed our first successful test with multiple, free-drifting Mini-AUEs. This is a major milestone for the project as it marks the first time that the vehicles have been deployed and recovered in the field un-tethered. It is also the first time that multiple units have been deployed together. We released two units programmed to hold roughly a 6m depth while drifting for one hour off Torrey Pines Beach. We did three consecutive 1-hour deployments and all of the critical functions of the vehicles worked perfectly every time. Below are a few photos from the deployment and a example of preliminary data.
First Sea Test with Mini-AUE Unit 1
We completed a variety of sea tests on Tuesday with Mini-AUE unit 1. In general things went quite well and we were able to have the vehicle complete several profiles, receive GPS position data, and recover the vehicle. Below is a photo of Paul Roberts programming the vehicle on the boat (Photo Credit: Rich Walsh).
Below is a map of two tracks inferred from GPS data (0001 and 0002). The map shows the start position (farther off shore) where the vehicle entered the water and the end position (closer to shore) where it surfaced after completing its profile. The vehicle was underwater for 30 minutes during each profile. Although the profiles were performed at different times, we can see from the trajectories that the current direction and velocity was quite consistent and in both cases the vehicle drifted by roughly 300 m towards the shore during the 30 minutes.
Mini-Aue undergoes successful pool tests
Engineer Rob Glatts getting ready to test the vehicle at our 35′ deep tank
The 1.5 liter Mini-Aue on its maiden test voyage
Autonomous Underwater Explorers: 20,000 Robots Under the Sea
The AUE project was recently featured in the science section of Miller-McCune in the article 20,000 Robots Under the Sea.
LUMIS2 Fluorescence Images
After a series of successful deployments both on SCUBA during the day and snorkeling during the day and night, LUMIS2 has captured some very compelling images of coral and algae fluorescence. Below is a set of frames from our most recent nighttime snorkeling ops. In the left column are the fluorescence frames taken with the blue strobes on LUMIS2 and the right column are the matching white strobe light frames of the same subject taken 50ms later. Each “frame” consists of four separate images arranged as follows:
(Green 510-530) (Color no filter)
(Red 665-695) (Orange 568-588)
Note that these images are “raw” uncorrected and that the Orange filter image has twice the gain of the Green and Red images.