A robotic sailing boat to do research on marine mammals

The aim of the joint research project of INNOC and Oregon State University is to develop an autonomous sailing boat to act as a maritime research platform for passive-acoustic monitoring (PAM) of marine mammals.

AAS Endurance is a flexible, multi-sensor platform suitable for use in research on a wide range of ecological issues. The system offers a number of significant advantages over previously used autonomous platforms for research on marine mammals, for instance with respect to speed, room for scientific equipment and a continuous supply of energy for long-term missions. On the other hand, use of a sailing boat entails new challenges, such as reliable recognition and avoidance of obstacles as well as energy self-sufficiency, which will be examined in this project.

Pupils from the Higher Technical College Spengergasse in Vienna will gain extensive insights into an international and multi-disciplinary research project. Both current marine biology issues as well as basic technological principles of autonomous obstacle recognition will be covered in the classroom. During field tests by the sea, students will be able to work alongside the scientists and experience first hand how exciting and varied scientific work is.

The project is part of the programme Sparkling Science, funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research.

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