Autonomous watercraft

Underwater and surface mapping of rivers and lakes

Research News /

Surveying bodies of water precisely is a challenging task. Authorities and port operators are required to provide up-to-date maps of riverbeds and port facilities. Until now, this has required the use of special mapping vessels and a great deal of manpower. It is costly and is not being carried out with the frequency and precision that will be required for future applications, such as autonomous shipping. For this reason, a team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB has developed an easy-to-operate, unmanned watercraft that autonomously surveys bodies of water such as rivers, lakes and harbors both above and below the surface and produces corresponding 3D maps.