The measure of an AUV is the data that it collects. After all, that's why you put it in the water. It requires an attention to detail that is often difficult to achieve in at-sea conditions. For this reason, the REMUS 100 has its own built in data quality assurance monitor that continually verifies that all instruments are working as expected, so that when the vehicle is launched, you can be confident that all systems and instruments are functioning properly.
Fluorometer Data Sample
This image shows fluorometer data collected at LEO-15. This particular mission ran from 5 miles off shore to about 17 miles off shore (about 20 km), and then returned. This data set shows just the outbound leg. As it made its transect the vehicle yo-yo'd up and down between the ocean floor and 6 meters depth about 40 times. The result is a whole cross sectional data sample of the ocean. As is plainly evident from this plot, the biological activity is much closer to the surface near shore (on the left) than offshore. Correlating this information with water temperature profiles (also collected) as well as time of day and other information provides scientists with an interesting view of biological activity. Incidentally, the 6 meter minimum depth was required because the vehicle ran unattended, and it was necessary to make sure it stayed below the shipping traffic that runs along the New Jersey coast.
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Bathymetry Data Sample
This bathymetry plot generated with the REMUS 100 playback software illustrates a number of vehicle features. In this mission the vehicle was programmed to "mow the lawn" perpendicular to shore (as shown by the maroon lines). However, it was also told to turn around when the water depth dropped below 3 meters. This meant that exact shore side coordinates were not required to program the mission, the vehicle figured out on its own where to turn around. This feature also makes it possible to survey irregular beach fronts. The resulting plot clearly shows an off shore sandbar, however it is in fairly deep water and should not pose a hazard to navigation.
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Sidescan Data Sample
This sidescan image created quite a stir when first revealed. A casual glance leads one to believe that someone has dumped a cache of 55 gallon drums. In fact, a closer inspection reveals that it is nothing more than some fairly large pipe sections and wheels deployed as an artificial reef. If you look closely, a number of large fish are also visible. The scale at the top of the image is in meters.
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ADCP Data Sample
This is a plot of ADCP data of 2nd leg (20 km) of a 50 km mission run on July 26, 1998, as part of the NOPP experiment at LEO-15 off of Tuckerton, NJ. On this leg, the vehicle was running from about 6 km offshore to 26 km offshore. Color is used to shore the along shore current, while arrows are used to show the component perpendicular to the shore. The gap in the middle of the data between 6 and 8.5 meters is the "dead-band" near the vehicle's up and down looking ADCP. It is possible to eliminate that deadband by having the vehicle yo-yo up and down in the water column (as in the fluorometer data above), and sorting bins and merging ensembles. Image courtesy of Rutger's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences.
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