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Ocean Systems Lab Heriot-Watt University Ocean Systems Laboratory

New life for OSL tank

For years, the tank in the Ocean Systems Lab was full of sand. This allowed more realistic sonar testing, in order to validate complex ATR (Automatic Target Recognition) algoritmhs, even in presence of buried/semi-buried targets. Filled with two different types of sand, the tank was intensively used, and the sand-configuration was pivotal for the development of a novel bio-inspired sonar, devoloped by the lab, which resulted in the spin-off Hydrason (http://hydrason.com/).

However, vehicle testing and sediment testing don't go very well along. At each vertical spin of a thruster, the sand was coming up, making the water very turbid. Cameras were practically unusable. It was not possible to record anything about the vehicle behaviour, if not on surface, as well it was not possible to see any set-up prepared for specific experiments.

A team of six people from OSL - Francesco Maurelli, Chris Capus, Nicolas Valeyrie, Hashim Kemal, Gordon Frost, Nik Tsiogkas - improved by an important member of the CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) team - Giorgio Caramanna - interested in UUV use for detection of gas emission, took the heroic challenge of remove several tons of sand from the tank. In the pictures below you can see the evolution which has brought the OSL tank to a new life. Many ideas are flying around about new uses of the tank. What are yours?

Posted by Francesco Maurelli On Mon 4 Mar 13 13:33

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