Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)

Australian Marine Ecology has a central role in developing emerging autonomous underwater vehicle (AUVs) for ecological investigation. Our vehicle, AUV Phoenix, is a man-portable system for efficient benthic, mid-water and surface transect surveys. The system provides for faster and more accurate spatial sampling, including video, water quality and sidescan sonar surveys of shallow to deep habitats. Its portability is highly advantageous in rapid, efficient and safe deployments. The AUV carries various external instrument payloads, including: CTD and other water quality instruments, underwater video and cameras and high resolution stereo video for fish surveys and 3D mapping. Our system is compact and can be deployed from 5 m dinghies, our 8 m vessel RV ORCA II and larger vessels. The system has led to a marked increase in quality of ecological data per unit effort.  We are currently partnered with the Australian Centre for Field Robotics to greatly expand the capabilities of AUV technology for surveys informing natural resource management.




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