Synthesis of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) fleet for bio-sampling using 3D reconstructions of the seafloor

Research Project Outline

The primary goal of this research is to quantitatively map the volume and the diversity of marine life in the benthic zones near gas hydrates and hydrothermally active sites. By using high performance autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to obtain sub-centimeter order resolution image and bathymetric data from wide areas of the seafloor, the aim is to generate accurate 3D reconstructions of seafloors and their benthos. Furthermore, by performing systematic and regular surveys in this manner, we hope to deepen understanding into the role played by these mineral oases as a habitat for marine life, and through this form a basis for accurate prediction changes in both the volume and diversity of marine life. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to develop a fleet of diverse autonomous underwater systems, each specializing in a particular aspect of each mission, for example performing in situ chemical analysis and sampling of deep-sea macro and micro biology as well as components of their environment. The proposed systems will be deployed in a series of missions in oceanographic regions of interest that are subject to temporal change, such as the hydrothermally active sites in Hatoma and Kagoshima bay, and the results and experience gained from these missions will be fed-back into engineering developments to redefine the state of the art for AUVs, and contribute a new, quantitative method for surveying deep sea marine ecology.

Research Director
Professor, The University of Tokyo
Research Started
Research Area
Establishment of core technology for the preservation and regeneration of marine biodiversity and ecosystems
Research Areas by Category
Research Areas Completed
Researcher Index