System for surveillance, search and rescue in the sea by means of collaboration of autonomous marine and air vehicles


The unmanned vehicles have taken lately a great technological progress, which aroses an increase interest to take advantage of their potential. In this project, we present the coordination of unmanned surface vessel (USVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to get a fast response in case of contingencies in the sea. Two types of scenario are considered: substance diffusion control on the sea (pollutants spill) and shipwrecked rescue. Both objectives are dynamical and need a fast response. The considered scenario supposes search and tracking with the following vehicles: a) surface vessels, b) unmanned aerial vehicles, c) a mother ship that supports to the other vehicles. The UAVs will be rotorcrafts with a visual perception module to help in the search and identification of targets and substances, and in landing and taking off in the ship. The goal of the UAVs is, to localize, to identify and, in the case of pollutants substance, to delimit the surface, and inform to USVs, which rescue the shipwrecked and substances in minimum time.



The first goal within our tasks is to estabilize a quadrotor, platform commonly used as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for many research teams around the world. We have built a SIMULINK model of the vehicle on which we implement different strategies of control. Having done this, we are designing and building our own vehicle, using different materials such as carbon fiber, plastic and aluminium. The driving force will be four 1000rpm/V brushless motors, each one fed by its own battery and mounted with a 10 inch propeller. An identification process has been carried out with these motors to obtain an estimation of their transfer function in order to improve the performance of the simulation model. In the process, several motors and batteries have been burnt out intentionally to test the robustness and trustworthiness of the devices. The final mass of the vehicle will be around one kilogram with another kilogram of payload, more than enough to carry extra electronics on board.



Control design for marine autonomous vehicles is a subject of great interest in the control systems. These vehicles are strongly non linear and show complex hydrodynamics effects that make difficult the control design. Besides, the use of underactuated vehicles is very important for different reasons like simplicity, cost, efficiency, etc, so these vehicles and their use for collaborative tasks are main topics of investigation. The main objective of our project is to construct an infrastructure capable of performing multiple USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) and ROV (Remotely Operated Systems) in collaborative tasks. In order to achieve this objective, a standard inter-vehicle communication protocol was developed using a WiFi approach. Each one of these vehicles will be equipped with guidance logic and a low level controller that allow the vehicle to implement coordinated path following tasks.



Swarm describes a behaviour of an aggregate of animals of similar size and body orientation, often moving en mass in the same direction. "Swarming" is a general term that can be applied to any animal that swarms. The term can be applied to insects, birds, fish, various microorganisms such as bacteria, and people. The term applies particularly to insects. "Flocking" is the term usually used for swarming behaviour in birds, while "shoaling" or "schooling" refers to swarming behaviour in fish. The swarm size is a major parameter of a swarm.

Artificial Intelligence


  • Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Quadrotors
  • Geographic surfaces identification
  • Searching the target following the maximum probability detection trajectory.
  • Target Identification
  • Target Monitoring and location transmission to the base
  • Applications
    • Coordination and Intervention on natural disasters like: oil spills, shipwrecks, fire detection, etc
    • Surveillance: perimeter Surveillance, and geographic reconstruction

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