Remote real-time video-enabled docking for underwater autonomous platforms

Mark A. Moline, Oscar Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


One of the key challenges in the development and implementation of ocean observatories is sustained observations over relevant temporal and spatial scales. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have demonstrated their potential for synoptic spatial coverage of regions of scientific and strategic interest. The range and duration of these systems are limited, however, to the capabilities of a single charge. A few efforts have been made to develop docking systems for propeller-driven vehicles; however, these systems are not applicable for buoyancy-driven gliders and cannot be universally applied to AUVs. Here the authors introduce an alternative strategy for AUV docking, demonstrate feasibility with a series of field tests using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to remotely recover an AUV, and comment on the scalability within the framework of the evolving global ocean observatory initiatives. Implementation of simple strategies such as this has the potential to reduce the chronic problem of undersampling in the ocean and may facilitate addressing some outstanding scientific questions related to the ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2665-2672
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


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