A Novel Paradigm for Underwater Monitoring Using Mobile Sensor Networks

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Aug 17;20(16):4615. doi: 10.3390/s20164615.


This paper presents a novel autonomous environmental monitoring methodology based on collaboration and collective decision-making among robotic agents in a heterogeneous swarm developed within the project subCULTron, tested in a realistic marine environment. The swarm serves as an underwater mobile sensor network for exploration and monitoring of large areas. Different robotic units enable outlier and fault detection, verification of measurements and recognition of environmental anomalies, and relocation of the swarm throughout the environment. The motion capabilities of the robots and the reconfigurability of the swarm are exploited to collect data and verify suspected anomalies, or detect potential sensor faults among the swarm agents. The proposed methodology was tested in an experimental setup in the field in two marine testbeds: the Lagoon of Venice, Italy, and Biograd an Moru, Croatia. Achieved experimental results described in this paper validate and show the potential of the proposed approach.

Keywords: anomaly detection; cooperative control; marine robotics; multi-vehicle system; swarm; underwater acoustic sensor network; underwater monitoring.