OPENING THE
DEEP-SEA FRONTIER

Developing a system of multiple autonomous vehicles for ocean exploration and monitoring, capable of operating at water depths up to 3 000 meters, with light logistic requirements.

“It's remarkable that so much of the deep sea has never been seen by human eyes at a time when we are viewing the far reaches of the universe using modern technology.”

European Marine Board; Position Paper 22, Sept. 2015.

ABOUT

MISSION

REINFORCE the national capacity for autonomous and extended range deep-sea exploration and monitoring.

AFFORD scientists and commercial operators in Portugal the means to open and explore the deep sea frontier using advanced autonomous vehicles and associated systems.

ACCELERATE the national development capability in the deep-sea domains, taking the first step towards opening the deep-sea frontier for autonomous exploration and mapping.

OBJECTIVES

Develop a deep-sea AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) to cover the deep-sea areas of the national remote oceanic areas, up to 3000 meters depth, while cooperating with other surface or deep-sea autonomous vehicles.

The system will be designed to comply with the requirements of three typical scenario missions (while leaving the flexibility for other future developments):

1. data download and water column profiling;
2. resource exploration and mapping;
3. high resolution habitat mapping.

OVERVIEW

Multiple Cooperative Autonomous Vehicles

APPROACH

ACTIVITIES

In order to achieve our objectives, we have designed a plan with six technical Work Packages (WP)
to be performed during the project.
WP1. APPLICATION SCENARIOS AND END-USER REQUIREMENTS

Identify and characterize all technical aspects derived from each operational scenario considered, issuing requirements for the development of the envisioned system of autonomous cooperative vehicles and end-user requirements.

Identify and characterize all technical aspects from state of the art logistics and support equipment required to operationalize the identified missions.

Understand and create a technical link related to system interoperability with all other project typologies being developed in parallel in the scope of the same call.
WP2. MECHANICAL DEVELOPMENT

Develop the overall design of the deep sea AUV, that will integrate the system of autonomous cooperative vehicles.

Develop the propulsion system layout and setup to fulfill the operational requirements.

Develop the tooling and support equipment suitable for the targeted mission scenarios.
WP3. ENERGY AND POWER

Develop, integrate and test the components responsible for supplying energy to the individual subsystems. This includes the battery arrangement and management, as well as the system for power distribution and management.
WP4. VEHICLE MISSION CONTROL SYSTEMS

Develop, implement and test the Vehicle and Mission Control Systems. These include the navigation, cooperative navigation, control, cooperative control, mission programming monitoring and control systems.

Integrate new sensors and actuators in the system.
WP5. MANUFACTURING AND ASSEMBLING

Manufacture and fully assemble the AUV system.

Manufacture all tooling and support equipment.
WP6. VALIDATION TESTS

Perform laboratory testing & validations of the whole system (functional, structural & electrical).

Perform the operational validation of all systems in a shallow water scenario.

Perform the operational validation of all systems in a deep-sea scenario.

OUTCOMES

MEDUSA Deep-Sea system demonstrated for scenario 1
– data download and water column profiling –,
at a deep-sea location with 1000 meters depth minimum.

DELIVERABLES

  1. Application Scenarios and End User Requirements report
  2. Operational Logistics and System Interoperability report
  3. Mechanical Development report
  4. Propulsion System characterization report
  5. Energy and Power Management System report
  6. Vehicle and Mission Control Systems report
  7. Vehicle Manufacturing and assembly report
  8. Deep Water AUV fully assembled
  9. Systems Validation report

CONSORTIUM

CEiiA is a Centre of Engineering and Product Development that designs, implements and operates innovative products and systems alongside our partners in the aeronautic, mobility, naval/offshore and automotive industries.

CEIIA
Coordinator

Instituto Superior Técnico is the largest and most reputed school of Engineering, Science and Technology and Architecture in Portugal. IST aim is to give students and alumni the education and the knowledge tools to improve, to change and to shape society.

Instituto Superior Técnico
Partner

The Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute, I. P (IPMA, IP), is a public institution, part of the indirect administration of the State.

Instituto Portugues Mar e Atmosfera
Partner

The EMEPC is a governmental structure with a mission to prepare and monitor the process of extending the continental shelf of Portugal. EMEPC contributes to the enhancement of the technical and scientific skills required for deep sea operations.

Estrutura de Missão para a Extensão da Plataforma Continental
Partner

Institute of Marine Research, was founded on 3 October 1991, as non-profit private association. The Institute of Marine Research presently has 13 Associated Partners among Universities and other Institutions.

Institute of Marine Search
Partner

Argus is manufacturer of electrical ROVs which are designed and built in Bergen, Norway. We have also extensive experience with operating Argus ROVs, for the oil and gas and subsea power cable industries, research institutions and militaries.

Argus
Partner

NEWS

MEDUSA DEEP SEA – 1ST COMPLETE ASSEMBLY AND "SOLO" MISSION

11 april 2017
MEDUSA DEEP SEA (MDS) AUV project has achieved a new milestone by performing its first “solo” mission for the first time on the 11th of April 2017, in Lisbon. During these last 2 weeks, the vehicle was fully assembled at CEiiA, transported to IST where laboratory tests were performed, and finally tested for the first time in shallow waters at Parque das Nações, in Lisbon.
All mechanically subsystems were fully validated together with the integrated vehicle components, including those responsible for vehicle navigation and control, as well as mission programming and control. This was the first trial of the vehicle in shallow waters, representing an important milestone towards achieving the main goal of the project - to run a mission autonomously, diving  to 1000 m water depth. The achievement of this milestone is an important stepping stone towards reaching the project’s objectives in the upcoming weeks. Hence, the team will continue to perform further tests at sea, first in shallow water and very soon in the deep sea!

MEDUSA DEEP SEA PRESENTED TO INDIA'S NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHY

12 january 2017
On the occasion of the visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal to the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, India, Luis Sebastião from IST presented the MEDUSA DEEP SEA project to the Marine Instrumentation group of NIO.  IST and NIO have been collaborating for the past 15 years and new avenues for research are being discussed including the deep sea, capitalizing on the results of the MEDUSA DEEP SEA project. As the project title says, let's continue "Opening the deep sea frontier".

MEDUSA DEEP-SEA HAS REACHED A NEW MILESTONE

29 december 2016
The MEDUSA DEEP SEA (MDS) AUV project has reached a new milestone: its pressure vessels (core components of the vehicle´s hull) were tested at 1100 m water depth last Thursday, December 29, 2016 in the Lisbon Canyon (20 nm SW of Lisbon City). This was a great and exhilarating experience for the whole MDS team: the weather was just perfect,  the operations went smoothly and the result... a success!  
After the dive, close inspection of the pressure vessels revealed that there  was no water ingress during the whole operation; thus, the pressure vessels, sealings, and assembly procedure have all passed this first test (up to approx. 110 bar). This was our first trial with an important component of the AUV in the deep sea. A small but important milestone towards the main goal of the project - to run a mission autonomously, diving to 1000 m water depth. 
The test was performed with the support of the  Noruega Research Vessel (RV) owned by the partner IPMA. The MEDUSA team is thankful to Noruega R/V Captain -  Mr. Oliveira Martins - and its crew for their pro-active attitude, professionalism, and superb seafaring proficiency. An instrument called "Depth Sensor", produced by SCANMAR (Norway) and owned by IPMA, was attached to one of the MEDUSA pressure vessels. This allowed  measuring and transmitting acoustically to the Noruega RV the actual depth of the top pressure vessel during the tests. 
The information was visualized in real time in one of of the monitors at the RV´s bridge. As expected, it was necessary to payout more cable than the actual depth of the dive (1332 m of cable for 1123 m of water depth reached during the dive). This was an excellent way of wrapping up the activities of  the MDS AUV project in 2016 and reinforcing team building! The New Year will witness the integration of all vehicle components, including those responsible for vehicle navigation and control, as well as mission programming and control, followed by further tests at sea.  We look forward to the first "solo" mission of the MDS AUV underwater in 2017!

MEDUSA DEEP-SEA PRESENTATION AT BUSINESS2SEA 2016

18 november 2016
MEDUSA DEEP SEA has been presented at BUSINESS2SEA 2016 which took place at Oporto, from the 16th to the 18th of November 2016. Held since 2011, BUSINESS2SEA (Fórum Oceano) is one of the largest events of the maritime economy in Portugal. Find out more here.

MEDUSA DEEP-SEA AT OCEANS BUSINESS WEEK

3 june 2016
MEDUSA Deep-Sea has been presented at the largest business meeting of the maritime economy in Portugal, held from the 2th to the 4th of June in Lisbon. Find out more here.

MEDUSA DEEP-SEA AT OCEANOLOGY INTERNATIONAL 2016 IN LONDON

18 march 2016
MEDUSA Deep-Sea was launched at Oceanology International, the world’s leading marine science and ocean technology exhibition and conference. Held every two years, it had in its last edition more than 8.000 visitors.

CONTACTS

CEiiA - Matosinhos
Avenida D. Afonso Henriques, 1825
4450-017 Matosinhos - Portugal

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