USV based automatic deployment of booms along quayside mooring ships: scaled experiments and simulations

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This article explores possible uses of marine Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) for the fully automatic deployment of containment booms along quayside mooring ships. The task of the USV is to tow the boom along adequate trajectories. The target is the prevention of contaminant spills in harbors or near the coast, for example during crude transfers. Surrounding ships with booms is becoming a common practice. This scenario belongs to the target of our research: to transfer robotic techniques to marine applications. The article experimentally shows that the USV based automatic deployment can be done, in accordance with a suitable planning in terms of waypoints. Actually, the article presents a successful automatic deployment, with a scale USV and a 50 m long experimental light boom. For the purposes of the research a set of models, of the boom, cables, and the USV dynamics, have been established. Based on these models, a simulation platform has been developed. The platform has been employed for analyzing and planning of experiments, and for the simulation of a real scale boom deployment scenario described in the article. Some recommendations are included in the final section.
©2020 the authors Published by Elsevier LTD The authors would like to thank the support of the CICYT Spanish Committee (projects DPI2009-14552-C02-01, DPI2013-46665-C1-1-r)