Design and synchronized control of active communicating umbilicals : application to the interconnection of marine and submarine drones

Ornella Tortorici (nov. 2017- dec. 2021)


Funding : PACA region grant and University of Toulon

Supervision : Vincent HUGEL, Hervé BARTHELEMY and Cédric ANTHIERENS


Remotely Operated Vehicle are usually employed in the context of underwater exploration of shallow waters. These underwater vehicles require the use of an umbilical that links them to the surface control station. It the umbilical is passive, it can be a drag on the mobility since drag forces consume a large amount of power, and undesired mechanical actions on the robot, as well as marine obstacle entanglement and knots can occur.

The work to be developed in this thesis aims to contribute to the management of umbilicals between underwater and surface robots through the design of a smart umbilical system that can not only reduce the undesirable impacts on the ROV navigation, but also switch to active mode to allow the adoption of new guiding strategies that are useful to the set of interconnected robots.

The targeted application is the case of an umbilical between a surface drone and a ROV/AUV where the whose system must carry out an observation and measurement mission in shallow water near the shore. As the whole system will be subject to marine currents, it will have to operate in an environment with varying depth and possibly constrained by the marine topography, fauna and flora.