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AUV mounted vector-sensor for seismic surveying

P. Felisberto, P. Santos, F. Zabel(*), S.M. Jesus and L. Sebastião(**)
LARSyS, University of Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
(*) Marsensing, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139, Faro (Portugal).
(**) Institute for Systems and Robotics, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa, Portugal.

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Ref.: OCEANS MTS/IEEE, Kobe (Japan), May 2018

Abstract: The usage of robotic vehicles for seismic surveying where ship-based sources and streamers are replaced by Autonomous Surface and Underwater Vehicles (ASVs & AUVs) poses significant scientific and technical challenges. Among those, is reducing the streamers length to improve the maneuverability and endurance of the towing vehicles without compromising the resolution of bottom images. A possible approach to tackle this challenge is to use vector sensors that are both compact and have high spatial discrimination performance. Such a sensing device - known as Dual Accelerometer Vector Sensor (DAVS) - was designed, developed and tested in the framework of WiMUST project. This work discusses experimental data gathered during engineering trials carried out at the Lisbon Oceanarium marina, in Portugal, when the sparkers were mounted on an ASV and the DAVS was mounted in an AUV. The Oceanarium marina is a very shallow site where the direct, surface and bottom reflected arrivals overlap in time. The results show that DAVS data can be used to attenuate noise, undesired surface reflections and separate bottom and surface arrivals. Therefore, they suggest that a few VS can achieve a performance similar to that of longer hydrophone streamers and be advantageous in challenging survey areas where the traditional seismic setup can not be considered.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This work was funded under project WiMUST contract 645141, H2020 program of the EU.

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