IIT-M researchers develop solar-powered submersible craft

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed a solar-powered craft that can undertake autonomous surveys and transmit real-time data over long distances.

The unmanned survey craft will be used in Indian ports and inland waterways. It can be equipped with an echo sounder, GPS system and broadband communication module to deliver precise depth measurements. The vehicle can also be loaded with oceanographic payloads , 360-degree Camera, LiDAR for seamless topography and bathymetry measurements. The craft was recently tested off the Chennai coast at the Kamarajar Port. More field trials will be taken up at the Kolkata Port.

A team from the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts at the Institute developed the craft. The research team is in the process of commercialising the technology with help from the Shipping Ministry and the Institute’s incubation cell. K. Murali, professor in charge of the NTCPWC termed the work as a significant leap towards indigenisation of the Indian maritime sector.

“The craft is capable of delivering precise and accurate depth measurements even in very shallow waters. The craft will help meet the increasing demands for volume and efficiency as ships become larger,” he said, adding that the craft can be used for operational window and navigational guidance.

The craft is fully solar-powered and can endure over five hours, depending on user requirements. The team includes Mr. Murali and principal scientists D. Leo and D. Kumaran Raju.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 7:23:54 AM |

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