Adaptive Ocean Sampling and Mapping using Networked Marine Robots (surface and underwater vehicles)

The work envisioned aims to contribute to the development of strategies that will afford groups of autonomous marine robots the capability to acquire relevant ocean data at the appropriate temporal and spatial scales in a cost-effective manner. To this end, the robotic systems will leverage on prior available data (e.g. from satellites in the case of surface phenomena or remote acoustic sensing from research ships in the case of underwater environments) and use online acquired data to collectively make decisions regarding the best strategy to manoeuvre and sample a desired volume of water or map a given area using appropriate sensors. The applications are manifold (e.g. seabed mapping, fisheries, ecosystem studies, inspection of critical infrastructures, and environmental protection) and require the use of advanced tools on distributed navigation, control, and decision making, the combination of which is still in its infancy.


Candidates
AIR Centre PhD grants are aimed at applicants enrolled or that comply with the requirements to enrol for PhD related studies and who wish to carry out research towards this degree. Candidates with a B.S. or a M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (or equivalent/similar area) may apply.

Summary of work plan
The work will witness both theoretical advancements and practical field experiments with a group of MEDUSA marine robots that are property of IST, in the following research areas: navigation systems including terrain aided navigation, cooperative motion planning, navigation, and control, fault detection and fault recovery, networked control using hybrid acoustic/optical communication networks, and sensor based control (eg: closing the loop with vision and sonar). A research work plan will be discussed between the selected candidate and the advisors within the areas previously mentioned.

Name(s) of supervisor(s)
Supervisor: David Cabecinhas, Instituto Superior Técnico
Co-Supervisor: António Pascoal, Instituto Superior Técnico

Name(s) of hosting institution(s)
The work will be conducted at Dynamical Systems and Ocean Robotics Lab (DSOR), Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) extending existing cooperation links already in place with Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway; University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil; and Pontifical Bolivarian University, Colombia.

Identification of PhD program
PhD Programme in Electrical and Computer Engineering (PDEEC)

Please check PhD program’s website for application deadlines here.

Jury Composition
José Alberto Victor (Chairman), IST, University of Lisboa, Portugal
Giovanni Indiveri, University of Genova, Italy
Lionel Lapierre, The Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics, and Microelectronics, University of Montpellier, France

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