Unmanned system for maritime security and environmental monitoring - MORUS
Name: Unmanned system for maritime security and environmental monitoring
Acronym: MORUS
Funding scheme: NATO Science for Peace Programme
Total budget: 834 929 EUR
Total budget for UNIZG-FER: 138 250 EUR
Start and end dates: 10/04/2015-28/02/2019
Coordinator: UNIZG-FER LARICS, Croatia
Project website: http://fer.hr/morus



The main goal of MORUS project is a design and development of a fully operational complex robotic system prototype comprised of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) capable of autonomous and cooperative mission executions related to environmental, border and port security.


The proposed research is in internationally competitive field with the main objective to design and develop autonomous aerial and marine robotic system, capable of collective engagement in missions taking place in dynamic and nondeterministic environments.

The design will focus mainly on payload enhancement and UAV autonomy which is mandatory for UUV transport. Besides that, a docking system and cooperative control algorithms will be developed enabling autonomous deployment, re-deployment and data exchange at the open sea. Operating environment of the proposed prototype is an unknown, uncertain and remote, i.e. far from a human operator. Therefore, a whole set of novel cooperative control algorithms, combined with augmented human machine interface, will be designed and implemented in order to ensure safety and recoverability of the described system. Having said that, objectives of the MORUS project are summarised as follows:

1. Design and construction of an UAV with docking and transportation mechanism,
2. Visual feedback based docking and gripping algorithm,
3. Design of augmented and easy to operate human machine interface for simultaneous control of aerial and marine robots,
4. Enhancement of the autonomous navigation capabilities and operational supportability in remote locations with few or no local support.
5. Agile UUV redeployment through cooperation with an UAV,
6. Enable data exchange between the UUV and UAV through cooperative control and estimation.

Demonstration scenario 1: Establishing ad hoc wireless communication network

Demonstration scenario 2: Aerial UUV recovery and redeployment


Construction of an UAV capable of autonomous mounting and transport of approximately 50 kg of payload, dedicated for civilian missions, will ease and reduce the cost of monitoring i) borders, ii) forest fires, and iii) large structures (power lines, wind farms, oil platforms, etc.). Such a vehicle, with dedicated features developed within MORUS project, will perfectly fit in the niche that currently lacks appropriate solutions. Furthermore, design and construction of a docking mechanism, together with the supporting control architecture and coordination control algorithms that will allow us to autonomously deploy and re-deploy an UUV by using the UAV, represent novel aspects of this project proposal. Combining the UAV and UUV we will construct a unique robotic system that combines advantages from both; long autonomy of the UUV and the UAV speed and agility. As a consequence, the cost of performing underwater missions will be significantly reduced since the proposed system will enable quicker and cheaper UUV (re)deployment without using ships, thus eliminating the expensive ship time from the mission budget.

Implementation- Goals and Achievements

The proposed unmanned aerial and underwater system for autonomous (re)deployment has numerous applications related to maritime security and environmental monitoring. MORUS has focused on implementation of two demonstration scenarios that validated the applicability of MORUS system in real environment.

Summary of Accomplishments:

• Data exchange protocol has been developed and tested in lab and field environment
• Communication equipment has been acquired, configured and tested in lab and field environment
• 2D mission planning and visualisation module for HMI have been developed
• Complete list of the UAV operating states for mission planning accomplished using StatechartTools
• Novel method for robust stability analysis of the nonlinear MIMO systems in the presence of internal and external disturbances
• Special metal cage (platform) was constructed for ICE testing
• Propeller thrust characteristics were measured
• Mechanical design of UAV was completed
• Electronics and avionics for MORUS UAV have been completed
• MMC concept has been developed and tested on mock-up system and UAV
• Different UUV simulation scenarios were implemented and tested
• Model Predictive Control algorithms for UUV have been implemented in ROS framework
• Change of missions implemented on a UUV was done online by using acoustic modems
• Experiments using the UUV with the new sidescan sonar and underwater camera were conducted
• Adaptive sampling based tracking and estimation algorithm for UAV tracking the UUV has been developed and implemented in Matlab
• Drogue/probe type docking mechanism has been developed and implemented in Matlab
• UAV simulation model is completed and tested (in Gazebo and Matlab)
• HMI Data Exchange Manager has been developed in LabVIEW using programmatically accessed shared variables • Error management and handling routines have been added to HMI
• HMI - State Chart link have been established through Continuous Interface and On Demand Interface
• HMI modules for reconfigurable mapping between controls of input devices (gamepad, joystick) and transition between states in the State Chart have been developed
• All the UUV control algorithms necessary for task execution are implemented.
• The sidescan sonar and the underwater camera have been integrated on the UUV
• Low-level controller design that simultaneously actuates moving masses and ICE rpms has been designed
• High level state machine was developed for high level mission control
• Model Predictive Control algorithms have been implemented in ROS framework
• Missions implemented on a UUV can be changed online by using acoustic modems
• Side-scan sonar implemented and tested
• Real-time estimation and control algorithms based on adaptive sampling for tracking and managing a network of heterogeneous systems have been developed
• The water sampler for seawater sampling from different depths on 5 stations in the South Adriatic was used
• Algorithm for location of the source of RF based on only local RF signal measurements was devised
• MAS formation control with learning suboptimal broadcasting has been developed and tested
• The Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) has been performed on the UAV system.
• The algorithm for ensuring a continuous connectivity between the autonomous vehicles has been developed
• Compliant net for ROV retrieval has been designed and tested in the pool on mock-up system
• Test flights with MORUS UAV have been performed at the Croatian Army facility

UAV demonstrated during the BtS 2016
MORUS team and Vehicles
Test flight Udbina