Talk: Balancing Autonomy and Supervision in Marine Robotic Vehicle Operations

by Great Lakes Research Center

Val Schmidt, principal research project manager with the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center at the University of New Hampshire, will give a talk Monday (Dec. 5) at 4 p.m. in GLRC 202.

Schmidt’s presentation will highlight lessons learned from seven years of balancing autonomy and supervision of marine robotic vehicle operations.

From the abstract:
Since 2015, the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire has routinely operated autonomous (robotic) surface vehicles (ASVs) for marine science and hydrographic survey. Initial operations have been from smaller, two-person portable, battery-operated systems in inland areas or in distant locations not easily accessible or unsafe to crewed vessels. More recently, operations have involved diesel-powered, sea-going vessels, including the C-Worker 4 (ASV Global) and DriX (iXblue/exail) vehicles, capable of sustained operations for several full work days. The Center has deployed these larger systems from NOAA Ship Fairweather (2018), Exploration Vessel Nautilus (2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 x3), NOAA R/V Shearwater (2017), and NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson (2019 and 2022). The Center has also deployed ASVs from shore in NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (2019 and 2021), and countless other day deployments from our own vessel and from shore off the New Hampshire coast. This talk will sprinkle sea-stories with a compendium of our lessons learned as we develop new technologies and operational modes to make the use of marine robotics for production science operations practical for NOAA and other operators.