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The role of autonomous underwater vehicles for marine search and rescue operations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alan J Murphy, Melanie Landamore, Professor Richard Birmingham


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There is an ever-increasing adoption of new technologies to improve safety of life, and autonomous technology is no exception. The use of robotic machines for assisting in search and rescue (SAR) operations is evident in land and air based scenarios, and European calls for research into the use of remotely operated or autonomous systems specifically address this requirement for marine based search and rescue. This paper addresses the current state of autonomy in the search and rescue field, as well as the current technologies available for marine applications. A concept for using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in marine search roles for SAR scenarios is provided, and the feasibility of such a system is demonstrated. Existing commercially available AUVs are shown to be capable of providing a viable search area coverage rate, and sensor technology is sufficiently mature to enable detection of survivors from the proposed autonomous platform. The technical challenges for further development of the concept are also addressed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Murphy AJ, Landamore MJ, Birmingham RW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Underwater Technology

Year: 2008

Volume: 27

Issue: 4

Pages: 195-205

Print publication date: 01/01/2008

ISSN (print): 0141-0814

ISSN (electronic): 1756-0551

Publisher: Society for Underwater Technology


DOI: 10.3723/ut.27.195


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