Tritech International, the innovative underwater technology company, supported several successful AUV teams at the recent Student Autonomous Underwater Challenge Europe (SAUC-E), in La Spezia, Italy.
SAUC-E challenges multi-disciplinary teams of aspiring student engineers to design and build subsea vehicles capable of performing autonomous missions in an underwater environment. The competition encourages student engineers to consider underwater technology and its future possibilities, as well as build closer links with organisations involved in underwater robotics. Tritech sensors enhanced the capabilities of competing Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), specifically designed and built for the challenge.
In first place, the University of Girona's (Spain) winning Sparus AUV, integrated a Micron DST imaging sonar; Tritech's ultra compact mechanical scanning sonar. The Micron contributed to the team's overall success by providing a reliable and accurate obstacle avoidance sensor for the AUV.
Heriot-Watt University (Scotland), were placed second overall and also fitted their vehicle Nessie V with a Micron DST imaging sonar and Gemini 720i real-time imaging multibeam sonar. The third placed team, ENSIETA (France) used a Tritech sonar on its SAUCISSE AUV.
In the build up to the challenge, the nine participating teams were required to submit a technical paper and give presentations describing their design and their planned approach to the missions. The teams were judged on overall performance along with technical merit, safety of design and the craftsmanship and innovation of the AUV.
Marc Carreras, University of Girona, commented on winning the competition: "For sure, the participation in this competition will make students continue their career in the field of underwater robotics and therefore, the collaboration of companies such as Tritech allows them to get in contact for the first time with professional equipment. We thank Tritech for their support, as well as the rest of our sponsors."
Maurice Fraser, Tritech's Sales and Marketing Director added: "SAUC-E is an excellent opportunity to contribute to the future of the industry. We're extremely pleased our sensors were integrated so successfully and congratulate all teams for their ambition and endeavour. The AUVs of the future will play a significant part in subsea operations and therefore Tritech will continue to develop and deliver a host of compact and low power sensors suitable for AUV use."
Hosted by the NATO Research Centre, SAUC-E '10 was sponsored by the office of Naval Research Global (USA), THALES UK, ACSA Underwater GPS, (France), CSSN (Italian Navy), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (UK), ECA, (France), Subsea Asset Location Technologies (UK) ad NURC.
For more information on SAUC-E, visit: www.nurc.nato.int/events/sauce10/