The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate a cost effective solution for recharging autonomous underwater vehicles used in remote oceanic areas including deep-sea deployments.
The ultimate objective is to support the collection of marine environment and human activities data for long-periods of time. ENDURE also targets addressing appropriate exploitation and impact assessment measures for the technology to be developed, together with an effective dissemination and communication of the project results.
The ENDURE implementation approach is underpinned in 3 main components:
- Docking maneuver, based on a novel vision based AUV positioning subsystem.
- Wireless battery recharging subsystem, capable of tolerating misalignments.
- Wi-Fi based high-bandwidth short range communication subsystem, for fast data downloading.
The proposed solution consists in having the underwater charging station (UCS) moored to the seabed and also connected to a surface platform that generates energy. This architecture allows for a significant reduction of the impact of surface waves on the movement of the UCS. Offshore conditions imply the use of a self-sustaining platform, capable of energy production. The platform will be able to generate energy for recharging all underwater smart platforms, as well as, receiving the collected data and transmitting it to shore.
The surface platform is a central component of this concept. In order to achieve the best rust resistance, weight and size ratio, we propose a lightweight surface platform based on composite materials (Polyester resin and a diverse assortment of carbon, Kevlar and glass fibers). The platform has a diameter of 2 meters and a capability of 1,5 tons of equipment. This allows the platform to be stable enough for offshore maintenance operations.