An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is a robot which travels underwater without requiring input from an operator. AUV's, often powered by rechareable batteries, have been used for a wide variety of areas including commercial, millitary and research and applications such as seabed mapping, mine counter-measure and remote sensing.

The light autonomous underwater vehicle, known as Seacon, developed by the Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory from Porto University (FEUP) will be used throughout the exercise.

With an operational depth up to 50 meters and 8 hours range it can collect several oceanographic data during its programmed mission. 


The vehicle can collect several oceanographic data depending on sensor configuration installed on-board. Some of the possible sensors that can be installed:

    • CTD sensor
    • Turbidity sensor (optional)
    • Rhodamine sensor (optional)
    • Chlorophyll sensor (optional)

Seacon AUV has also been fitted with high quality navigation and sonar equipment such as sidescan sonar, doppler velocity log, inertial measurement unit, echo sounder and sound velocity.

Side-scan sonar can be used to complete fast wide-area searches and produce backscatter maps which are used to identify/locate submerged objects such as the shipwreck site below.