MASCOT - AUV missions near the Douro River mouth
Our operation at REP(MUS)21 this year also includes remote controlled missions. We took the opportunity to test the remote control and work assessment of AUV missions near the Douro River mouth on behalf of the MASCOT project. MASCOT is an interdisciplinary project to build on the science of statistical sampling for oceanographic applications with autonomous robots.
Sampling refers to the design of observational strategies in spatio-temporal domains, enabling autonomous platforms to decide on a strategy of where and when to make measurements to increase our knowledge of dynamic environments like the upper water-column. While the project's focus is on methodological development of algorithms, we will leverage complex oceanographic models on shore to build statistical models and generate a strategy for sampling, and embed these onboard autonomous marine vehicles, validating the theory while impacting the science of oceanography.
MASCOT project aims to answer the following main research questions:
- How to fit realistic spatio-temporal statistical models from ocean simulations and available measurements, for prediction of river plume fronts?
- Where and when to sample with autonomous vehicles for effective improved characterization of river plume fronts, using realistic spatio-temporal statistical models for these phenomena?
- What is required to translate these methodologies and couple them with opportunistic control of robotic vehicles to engage in focused ocean science driven field experiments?
LSTS (UPorto-Portugal) and NTNU (Norway) teams were dedicated to field experiments and validation between 20 and 24 September. All operations are broadcasted on our Ripples visualization software which also enable to send plans to the vehicles, receive subsampled data and have a high-level mission control from the Ocean Space Centre located during the REP(MUS) at CMOC base in Troia.
The project consortium is led by NTNU. SINTEF Ocean and LSTS-FEUP are the partners. MASCOT is funded by the Norwegian Research Council.