BEA: Overview of a multi-unmanned vehicle system for diver assistance

BEA: Overview of a multi-unmanned vehicle system for diver assistance

Leonardo Barilaro, Jason Gauci, Marlon Galea, Andrea Filippozzi, David Vella, Robert Camilleri

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Abstract. This paper presents an overview of a solution to address the issue of marine traffic endangering scuba diving and free diving. Diving is a popular recreational activity, and it is estimated that there are around six million active scuba divers worldwide. When diving, it is essential to signal one’s presence with universal markers, however, boat drivers do not always recognize them and can speed too close to dive zones, posing a risk to divers. To mitigate these risks, a multi-unmanned vehicle system consisting of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), and an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) has been developed. The proposed system works in synergy to monitor and protect divers. The UAV monitors the surface of the sea near the dive zone for any traffic, while the USV tracks the UUV, communicates with the other unmanned vehicles, and provides a takeoff/landing surface for the UAV. The USV can also be used to tow divers and equipment to/from the shore. Finally, the UUV tracks the diver and warns them if it is unsafe to surface. The paper provides an overview of the design and system’s architecture, algorithms for boat detection, precision landing and UUV tracking, as well as preliminary tests carried out on the prototype. The proposed system is found to be suitable for the intended application. The BEA (Buoy Eau Air) system is the first in the world to use a multi-drone system to create a geo-fence around the diver and monitor the area within it. The paper also highlights the potential benefits of such a system for the touristic sector, especially for countries where diving is a popular recreational activity.

Swarm Unmanned Vehicles, UAV, USV, UUV, Safety at Sea

Published online 11/1/2023, 6 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Leonardo Barilaro, Jason Gauci, Marlon Galea, Andrea Filippozzi, David Vella, Robert Camilleri, BEA: Overview of a multi-unmanned vehicle system for diver assistance, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 243-248, 2023


The article was published as article 53 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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