A primary outcome of the ATMC January 2006 strategic planning process was the need to develop research focus areas in key technologies. The Coastal Systems Technology (CST) program was the first such initiative. CST was created to focus on research and technology addressing the needs, problems, and opportunities of coastal and inland waters for the Southern New England region. The CST program is conducting research and technology development in areas related to homeland security, national and regional maritime risk management, environmental monitoring and protection, fisheries and emerging coastal applications, such as energy harvesting. At the core of the CST program is the formulation of key partnerships and collaborations between all echelons in the community.
CST collaborations and partnerships include university, industry, and local/state/federal agencies that serve as a forum for ideas, technology transfer, and commercialization of CST products. The program is managed by Keith Mackenzie, Research Project Manager at the ATMC and Dr. David Brown, Technical Director for the center. Currently, faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate student interns from various engineering disciplines are working on CST projects at the ATMC. Current students include Matt Bejtlich, and Kenneth Burch-Electrical Engineering Majors (EE), Steven Brown- Electrical and Computer Engineering Major (EE/CPE), and Jeff Rezendes-Computer Information Systems (CIS). Some of the growing list of collaborative partners include: the URI Center of Excellence in Undersea Technology, UMB-Coastal Environmental Network, Chesapeake Technology Inc., UMass Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology (SMAST), the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Cities of New Bedford & Fall River, Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, United States Coast Guard and the Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council. Examples of industry partners include Purvis Systems, Ultra Electronics, SAIC, Northrop Grumman, Ocean-Server, MIKEL, and IBI Group.
As of 2012, CST has developed a fully functional AUV lab which consists of three Iver2-AUVs. This lab is a resource that provides hydrographic research and survey capabilities through the utilization of the Iver2-AUV. It is primarily operated and maintained by the Coastal Systems Technology (CST) team, and is used to address marine related research goals. The autonomous underwater vehicle field is still rather new and in what capacity this technology can be applied has yet to be fully understood. Through the cooperation of CST, the ATMC, and its partners the AUV Lab will be used to explore the applications of AUVs and augment faculty research, while providing an excellent opportunity for UMass interns to gain some hands-on experience.
The three vehicles that currently make up the AUV Lab; Iver2-165, Iver2-166, and Iver2-167. Each vehicle has standard sensors such as a Doppler velocity log (DVL), an acoustic pinger, GPS/Iridium, and a digital compass. Each vehicle also carries a sensor which is unique to its counterparts. 165 carries an instrument package which is used to measure a variety of environmental detail about a body of water such as oxygen and chlorophyll content or conductivity. 166 has multi-beam sonar that provides high resolution bathymetry data which can be used to map water channels, and 167 has a high-resolution side scan sonar from Klein. Side scan sonar is used to image the bottom of a water column; it can be used to detect anything from rocks to shipwrecks. While all three vehicles have side scan sonar, the Klein sonar provides a higher resolution image and increases the probability of detecting objects of interest. Between the three vehicles available in the AUV Lab several important characteristics of a body of water can be determined, which if used in the right context, could be very useful. If interested in using one of CST's vehicles, the forms at the bottom of the page outline preliminary steps that researchers or instructors should take in order to request the use of a vehicle(s) in either field operations and or classroom instructional support. For more information about this program, please contact:
Keith Mackenzie at 508.910.9818