Unmanned Autonomous Survey Craft

A research team at the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC) in IIT-Madras has recently developed an Unmanned Autonomous Survey Craft. It is a solar-powered craft that can be used in Indian ports and inland waterways to undertake autonomous hydrographic and oceanographic surveys.

Key Points

  • The craft can also provide real-time data transmission over long distances, including precise depth measurements.
  • This craft could be armed with echo sounder, GPS system, additional oceanographic payloads, 360-degree camera and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).
  • The system was successful field-tested off the Chennai coast at Kamarajar port in North Chennai, recently. Additional trials are also scheduled Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata.
  • The craft has a capability of delivering precise depth measurements even in shallow waters.
  • The craft is completely solar powered and can be operated in manual mode through remote-control or as an autonomous vehicle.
  • The survey craft is a part of the research funding provided by the Shipping Ministry to NTCPWC.

National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC)

NTCPWC was set up by the Ministry of Shipping in IIT Madras to act as its technological arm and provide support to the ports, IWAI and other institutions in the country. Areas of research of NTCPWC includes Navigation and Manoeuvring, 2D and 3D modelling of Ocean, Autonomous platforms and vehicles, port management, etc. One of its initiatives, Sagarmala was launched by the Indian government in 2015 to improve the performance of logistics sector of the country.

IIT Madras NIRF Ranking

IIT Madras was chosen as the best higher educational institute in the country (Rank 1) as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2020. It is followed by IISc Bangalore. NIRF was launched in 2015 to rank top institutions of the country in various categories like Management, Dental, law, college, etc.

Recently, IIT Madras students also developed a game named “IITM Covid Game” to create awareness about COVID-19.

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