POLE
towards Persistent and autonomous mOnitoring and sampLing of undErsea ice

ABSTRACT

The POLE project and its twin project RAISE are a pioneer implementation of the ecorobotics paradigm, i.e. integrating ecological approaches and robotics to develop technological tools for persistent monitoring and targeted sampling of biological structures in the polar marine environment. The projects, which involve technology clusters and SMEs, aim to design and develop two systems: an under-ice system for persistent visual monitoring of the bottom surface of  platelet ice and for collection of basic environmental parameters, and a portable, highly automated ROV for monitoring and sampling of biological samples inside platelet ice (P2-ROV: Portable/Polar-ROV). For technological validation, the two systems will be utilized to observe  the formation of  platelet ice and the deposition of eggs by Antarctic silverfish as well as to sample its larvae below the ice canopy. The quality and quantity of the collected data and samples will be compared with the results achieved in other projects using conventional observation and sampling methods.

PROJECT LOCATION

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR AND PROJECT COORDINATOR
GABRIELE BRUZZONE

DATA SHEET
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   TYPE AND DATE
   FP7 / CP
   STARTING DATE – August 2013
   ENDING DATE – July 2015

COST
TOTAL COST €: …
TOTAL FUNDING € …

CNR ISSIA
COST € 79,000.00
FUNDING € 79,000.00

SUMMARY

The POLE project will develop marine technology and robotic tools for persistent observation and intervention sampling within platelet ice, namely for studying the reproductive process of Antarctic silverfish. The quality and quantity of data and samples collected with the innovative POLE technology will be compared with results achieved using conventional observation and sampling methods in the proposal “Integrate research on Antarctic silverfish ecology in the Ross Sea”, coordinated by M. Vacchi (ISPRA).
POLE makes use of synergies with the Ritmare Flagship project, in particular for the transfer of the real-time embedded platform and the navigation, guidance and control system of the ROV. This allows dramatic risk reduction as well as a reduced cost in human and time resources for the development of the robotic vehicle.
Risks related to environmental conditions consist in the possibility that there might be no ice in the Silverfish bay at the end of the first expedition, i.e. February 2014, thus making it impossible to deploy the under-ice monitoring system persistently throughout the winter. Although on the basis of recent years’ statistics this event is not very likely, in case this situation should arise the system will be deployed in the following year. The option of re-deploying the persistent monitoring system in February 2015 in all circumstances is also considered.

 

helicopter transfer

 

wind turbine

 

CLOSED POLE

 

GREEN POINT PERFORATION

 

POLE ISSIA GROUP

 

pole underwater ice crop / cameras w led straight / ctd underwater straight

 

VIDEORAY IN HANDS

 

POLE INSTALLED

 

Mini-ROV WITH CNR-developed SAMPLER

Antarctic silverfish eggs and larvae sampling mission - Dec 1, 2013

 

SEALING GLASS

Pole Assembling Phase - Jan 21, 2014

 

MINI ROV under the glacier

Antartic silverfish eggs and larvae sampling - DEC 1, 2013

 

Mini-ROV WITH CNR-developed SAMPLER

Antartic silverfish eggs and larvae sampling - DEC 1, 2013

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Specific Objectives

The POLE project aims at developing basic robotic and technological tools for persistent monitoring and targeted sampling of biological structures in the polar marine environment. To validate the technology, the systems will be deployed to observe the formation of platelet ice and the deposition of eggs by Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarticum) as well as to sample its larvae below the ice canopy.
Marine robotics and technology objectives are:
a) design, development and validation of an under-ice system for persistent visual monitoring of the bottom surface of platelet ice and collection of basic environmental parameters;
b) design, development and validation of a portable, highly automated ROV for monitoring and sampling of biological samples inside platelet ice (P2-ROV: Portable/Polar-ROV);
c) design, implementation and validation of algorithms for the detection of sea ice, as well as of platelet ice, by acoustic sensors mounted on unmanned underwater vehicles.
Scientific exploitation objectives are:
a) collection of basic environmental parameters during winter in a candidate ASPA; b) observation of the process of formation of the platelet ice and eggs deposition; c) geo-referenced sampling of larvae of Antarctic silverfish inside platelet ice.
After the end of the POLE project, the P2-ROV will remain available for future scientific campaigns, while technological objective c) is a key requisite for the development of AUVs and gliders able to operate in the proximity or in the presence of sea ice

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SOURCE OF FOUNDING

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PARTNERSHIP

Institute of Intelligent Systems for Automation, National Research Council of Italy (ISSIA-CNR)
Distretto Ligure delle Tecnologie Marine (DLTM), Italy
Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA), Italy