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Poland's first unmanned hydrodrone is being built in Szczecin

21.08.2017 Technology

Poland's first unmanned hydrodrone is being built in in Pomerania Technopark in Szczecin. Project leader Prof. Andrzej Stateczny announced that the modern unit will make depth measurements needed to create electronic navigation maps, among other things.

The hydrodrone will be a catamaran with ecological and quiet electric propulsion. It will be used to perform measurements in limited waters, including n rivers, lakes and port waters. According to Prof. Andrzej Stateczny from Marine Technology, "the unit will be able to work for 12 hours at a measuring speed of 3 knots; its length is 4 m, width is 2 m, and the maximum height is about 1 m above the water surface".


"The unit will perform bathymetric (depth) measurements and sonar measurements - that is, imaging the bottom with sound, which we sometimes call pictures painted with sound" - he explained. It will also be used to check the condition of hydrotechnical buildings, such as dams, locks and bridge supports, and to test water quality.


"The uniqueness of our hydrodrone is that instead of sending people who have to sail on spend weeks on a measurement vessel, you can program the drone to perform measurements autonomously on rivers or lakes. After the measurements are completed, it can be loaded on a trailer and wait for its next job in a standard garage or under tarpaulin in a car park "- he added. He noted that for safety reasons the hydrodron would not be designed to work in the open sea.


According to the project leader, the hydrodrone will also be used during hydrotechnical work where it is necessary to carry out continuous depth measurements during river bed dredging. In addition, the unit will be capable of obtaining data for electronic navigation mapping of water bodies - similar to those commonly used in car navigation.


Electronic navigation maps are used in River Information Services (RIS) and should cover all waterways of international importance. "In the near future, the modernization of inland waterways is planned in Poland, including the opening of the Oder and Vistula rivers. According to plans, the whole Oder river, up to the Czech border, should be class IV, or a waterways of international importance, which can be compared to an expressway. There are similar plans for the section of the Vistula from Warsaw to Gdańsk" - reminded Prof. Stateczny.


At present, the team carries out design work on the construction of the unit, and also buys the necessary equipment, which is not produced in Poland, including a multi-beam echosounder. "We are developing our own navigation system and software, we are buying the appropriate hardware components. The unit will be equipped with anti-collision systems to avoid obstacles, including underwater ones, and detect other vessels to avoid collisions" -said the project leader.


The catamaran hull with the drive and electrical installation is being built in the shipyard in Rekowo Górne near Gdynia, by the company Cree Yacht, which specializes in the production of modern yachts.


According to Prof. Stateczny, in the summer of 2018 the hydrodrone will be tested in Polish waters. The prototype will be ready in 2 years.


The cost of the whole project is over PLN 2.5 million, of which PLN 2 million comes from the National Centre for Research and Development under the EU's Smart Growth Operational Programme.


The members of the scientific staff of the project led by Prof. Andrzej Stateczny are: Prof. Jerzy Pyrchla of Gdansk University of Technology, Dr. Witold Kazimierski from the Maritime University in Szczecin and Dr. Tadeusz Kantak.


PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland


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Tags: hydrodronem , maps
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