ATLAS ELEKTRONIK has successfully completed a European research project of landmark significance. For the EU research project GREX, ATLAS contributed an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) of the type "SeaBee" to the research fleet and also managed the entire project.
The goal of the project was to achieve the coordinated operation of different types of existing unmanned marine vehicles, so that they could perform specified tasks together as a team. Various scenarios were developed for the tests, to address possible applications in marine biology and the offshore industry.
Within the scope of the final sea trials in the Portuguese bay of Sesimbra, the project partners demonstrated the practical suitability of the research results. Several coordinated missions were successfully implemented with real vehicles. Besides the team capabilities, it was also possible to use the AUV "SeaBee" to test new technologies for future deep-sea vehicles, e.g. oil-filled cables, motors and electronic enclosures, pressure-neutral batteries and a bus system derived from the automotive industry.
Since 2006, a total of eight research and industrial partners from five countries have been working together on the GREX research project, which is being funded by the European Commission under the 6th EU Framework Programme: in addition to ATLAS, the Technical University of Ilmenau (Germany), Instituto Superior Tecnico (Portugal), Ifremer (France), the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries at the University of the Azores (Portugal), Innova S.p.A. (Italy), MC Marketing Consulting (Germany) and SeeByte Ltd. (Great Britain).
Accomplishing concerted operation of heterogeneous maritime vehicles represents a milestone for the ongoing research efforts into unmanned mobile systems; the GREX project can therefore be viewed as a resounding success.