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ENGINEERING

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY

ROBOTS.FISH is a fleet (school?) of small underwater vehicles being developed by the CERC.OCEAN Lab at Dalhousie University under Dr. Doug Wallace for rapid response to small-scale ocean events/"happenings" (<10 km on a horizontal scale).

Our overarching goal is to make underwater research platforms accessible to a broader end-use community by reducing the cost and level of technical skill required to own, operate, modify, and maintain them.

 

Our related sub-goals are to:

  • Promote use of underwater vehicles by small research teams and individuals, including those working outside of specialized research institutions, major industries, and the defense sector

  • Allow for rapid deployment in remote, inaccessible locations

  • Increase payload flexibility and interoperability to allow diverse scientific missions without the delays and high costs of non-recurring engineering supplied by manufacturers

  • Reduce costs of acquisition and use to meet budgets of a broader variety of end-users

 

To demonstrate the opportunity provided by new technology and to accelerate its development, we focused on using existing, commercially available vehicles as a base platform, which had to meet the following criteria: 

  • Cost: US$20K maximum

  • Size: capable of deployment and recovery by one person 

  • Payload capacity: adequate space and power to support a “scientifically useful” sensor payload

For scientific purposes, the base platform also had to be:

  • Flexible: ability to accommodate a multi-sensor payload in a manner that allows for quick and easy sensor swapping in the field  

  • Configurable: supplied with open-source or non-proprietary architecture, allowing direct sensor integration 

 

Scroll down to learn more about the tools and platforms we've developed.

REMOTELY-OPERATED VEHICLES

(ROVs)

OIL SPILL CHARACTERIZATION

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

ROV.FISH-1

environmental monitoring

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (chlorophyll)

oxygen sensor

pH sensor

1080p video camera

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Bras d'Or Lake, NS, Canada

Ohmsett assembly_edited.png

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

ROV.FISH-2

oil spill characterization

3 x fluorescence sensors (crude oil)

temperature sensor

1080p video camera

Ohmsett research facility, NJ, USA

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

ROV.FISH-3

in-situ burn residue characterization

fluorescence sensor (crude oil)

temperature sensor

water sampler

4K video camera

1080p video camera

scanning sonar

none (yet!)

AUV.FISH-1

AUTONOMOUS UNDERWATER VEHICLES

(AUVs)

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

AUV.FISH-1

dye tracer tracking

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (rhodamine dye)

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Gulf of St. Lawrence, QC, Canada

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

AUV.FISH-2

environmental monitoring

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (turbidity)

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Bras d'Or Lake, NS, Canada

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

AUV.FISH-3 ("MILLI")

dye tracer tracking

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (rhodamine dye)

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Gulf of St. Lawrence, QC, Canada

AUV.FISH-2

REFERENCES

  1. FDFD

Last revised: May 2, 2020​

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