The European Project MORPH: Distributed UUV Systems for Multimodal, 3D Underwater Surveys

J. Kalwa, D. Tietjen, M. Carreiro-Silva, J. Fontes, L. Brignone, N. Gracias, P. Ridao, M. Pfingsthorn, A. Birk, T. Glotzbach, S. Eckstein, M. Caccia, J. Alves, T. Furfaro, J. Ribeiro and A. Pascoal.
Marine Technology Society Journal, vol.50, no.4, pp. 26-41, July 2016.


The MORPH project (FP 7, 20122016) is aimed at developing efficient methods and tools to map the underwater environment in situations that are not easily addressed by current technology. Namely, the missions that are of interest are those that involve underwater surveying and marine habitat mapping of rugged terrain and structures with full 3D complexity, including vertical cliffs. Potential applications include the study of cold water coral reef communities, ecosystems from underwater canyons, pipeline and harbor monitoring, or the inspection of wind turbine foundations. The project introduced and advanced a novel concept of an underwater robotic system composed of a number of mobile robot modules (nodes), carrying complementary sensors for perception of the environment. Instead of being physically coupled, the modules are connected via communication links that allow a flow of essential information among them. Without rigid links, the so-called MORPH Supra-Vehicle can reconfigure itself and adapt according to the environment and mission goals, responding, for example, to the shape of the terrain, including vertical walls. The flexibility allows for more optimal positioning of each sensor, increased number of simultaneous viewpoints, and generally high-resolution data collection.MORPH is aimed at providing a proof-of-concept demonstration of such capabilities, an effort that includes technological developments in many of the subfields of underwater technology. The main results are summarized and presented in this paper


@article {Kalwa2016morph,
author = "Kalwa, Joerg and Tietjen, Daniel and Carreiro-Silva, Marina and Fontes, Jorge and Brignone, Lorenzo and Gracias, Nuno and Ridao, Pere and Pfingsthorn, Max and Birk, Andreas and Glotzbach, Thomas and Eckstein, Sebastian and Caccia, Massimo and Alves, Joao and Furfaro, Thomas and Ribeiro, Jorge and Pascoal, Antonio",
title = "The European Project MORPH: Distributed UUV Systems for Multimodal, 3D Underwater Surveys",
journal = "Marine Technology Society Journal",
volume = "50",
number = "4",
year = "2016,
pages = "26-41",
issn = "0025-3324",
doi = "doi:10.4031/MTSJ.50.4.10"
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