An Autonomous Solar-Powered Marine Robotic Observatory for Permanent Monitoring of Large Areas of Shallow Water

Apart from their ecological value, the world’s oceans are among the planet’s most valuable resources, a rich source of food and wealth and in urgent need of protection. This article describes BUSCAMOS-RobObs, a robot-based observatory, consisting of an autonomous solar-powered marine robot with specialized sensing systems designed to carry out long-term observation missions in the inland sea of the Mar Menor in southeastern Spain. This highly specialised device is unique because it has the capacity to anchor itself to the seabed and become a “buoy”, either to take measurements at specific points or to recharge its batteries. It thus avoids drifting and possible accidents in the buoy mode, especially near the coast, and resumes monitoring tasks when the required energy levels are reached. The robot is equipped with a broad range of sensors, including side scan sonar, sub-bottom sonar, laser systems, ultrasound sonar, depth meters, a multi-parametric probe and a GPS, which can collect georeferenced oceanic data. Although various types of autonomous vehicles have been described in the literature, they all have limited autonomy (even in the long term) as regards operational time and covering the seabed. The article describes a permanent monitoring mission in the Mar Menor, with a combination of solar energy and a decision-making strategy as regards the optimum route to be followed. The energy and mission simulation results, as well as an account of actual monitoring missions are also included.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 24p
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01689293
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 14 2018 3:49PM