First testing of an AUV mission planning and guidance system for water quality monitoring and fish behavior observation in net cage fish farming
Recently, underwater vehicles have become low cost, reliable and affordable platforms for performing various underwater tasks. While many aquaculture systems are closed with no harmful output, open net cage fish farms and land-based fish farms can discharge significant amounts of wastewater containing nutrients, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals that impact on the surrounding environment. Although aquaculture development has often occurred outside a regulatory framework, government oversight is increasingly common at both the seafood quality control level, and at baseline initiatives addressing the basic problem of pollution generated by culture operations, e.g. the European marine and maritime directives. This requires regular, sustainable and cost-effective monitoring of the water quality. Such monitoring needs devices to detect the water quality in a large sea area at different depths in real time. This paper presents a concept for a guidance system for a carrier (an autonomous underwater vehicle) of such devices for the automated detection and analysis of water quality parameters.