Sanity tests and Wavy first trial

08 July 2013
Vehicles on Bacamarte's deck
Preparing to leave
Xtreme 2
Hugo Queiroz and Margarida Faria carrying Noptilus 1
Ricardo Bencatel connecting X8 - 00
Renato Caldas , João Sousa and José Pinto
Kanna Rajan, Eng. Vitor Lobo e Ricardo Bencatel
Daniel Silva preparing the catapult
Bruno Loureiro and José Quadrado setting up the Wi-fi antenna
Checking the software
Ricardo Bencatel setting up the recovery net for the X8
Placing AUV's beacons
Daniel Silva preparing to lauch X8 - 00
X8 - 00
X8 -00
X8 -00 flying behind Bacamarte
Recovering Noptilus 1
Preparing to deploy Xtreme 2
João Sousa and Kanna Rajan
Ricardo Bencatel mending the net
View from inside Bacamarte
Xtreme 2
Recovering Xtreme 2
Working on Bacamarte's deck
Control center
Throwing Wavy
Wavy on the water
Preparing to lauch X8 - 00
X8 over Sesimbra
X8 approaching
X8 in the recovery net
The team

The day was dedicated to execute sanity tests for both AUVs and an X8 UAV as also testing Wavy, the autonomous drifter for the firt time.

We departed the Lisboa Naval Base at 7h 30, heading to Sesimbra to board NRP Bacamarte. On arrival, the technical equipment was set up and communication networks were configured to enable interaction with the vehicles as well as to the internet. Network ops were carried out with the UAV X8-00 operating on a 5Ghz network sending live images to the ship in near vicinity (< 2 km) while the AUV's Xtreme 2 and Noptilus 1 operated on a 2,4 GHz network, the latter initially checked out on surface tests followed by dive profiles.

Once the net and catapult were set up for the launch and recovery of the UAV, the X8 was verified, two test flights were executed. The first ended with an inadvertent high speed landing that damaged the landing net. The lesson learned on this first flight, allowed for a more smooth landing for the second flight with video images collected at different altitudes.

In parallel, 2 LBL (Long base line) beacons were deployed 300 meters away from each other, to localize the AUVs in the water column for the sanity tests. After several navigation and motion tests, communication via Iridium for the AUVs was tested. Noptilus 1 collected multibeam bathymetry data to generate a 3D model of the sea floor for the Portuguese Navy, one of the primary sponsors of this experiment.

Wavy, autonomous drifter, was tested during the day. This device is the result of a collaboration with the Portuguese Instituto Hidrográfico Português (IH) with the aim is to collect GPS data for measuring surface currents in near shore waters and sending instantaneous position updates via SMS over a wireless network.

More pictures will be added soon.