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INESC TEC’s robotics participates in NATO’s exercise

Between 11 and 27 September, INESC TEC participated in one the largest experimentation exercises of unmanned marine systems of Europe called Recognized Environmental Picture (REP), which took place in Portugal (Tróia and Sesimbra). 

01st October 2019

This exercise was carried out under NATO’s Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) initiative, thus receiving the designation of REP (MUS).

INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) was present with two of its own technologies: TURTLE and MARES. TURTLE (robotic autonomous lander) is a platform capable of accommodating a wide range of sensors for the observation of the aquatic environment, remaining on the seabed for long periods of time and being able to relocate autonomously, as well as to return to the surface for maintenance operations. TURTLE performed continuous presence operations in this exercise for underwater surveillance.

MARES (autonomous underwater vehicle) is a modular robotic vehicle capable of moving around with different sensors for data collection while also being able to hover itself in the water column. During this exercise, MARES inspected areas through the use of a sonar under the scope of anti-mine operations.

This participation comes within the scope of the collaboration protocol signed by INESC TEC and the Portuguese Navy, which frames and reinforces the joint participation in projects, including in the European Defence Agency and NATO’s staff.

This is an opportunity to test the interoperability of technologies, procedures and tactics of maritime unmanned systems used by NATO’s countries, and these new technologies can be an important aid in the fight against submarines with more potent weapons or in the prevention of military action in dangerous situations, such as the fight against sea mines.

This is the tenth consecutive year that Portugal hosts this initiative. The initiative gathered around 850 elements from 10 different countries. INESC TEC’s team was composed of Bruno Ferreira, Nuno Abreu, Jorge Barbosa, Nuno Dias, António Ferreira, Pedro Rocha, Luís Lima, Alfredo Martins, Carlos Almeida, José Miguel Almeida and Hugo Ferreira.

The event was attended by the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral António Mendes Calado, by the Navy Command, Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo and by several national and international entities.

REPMUS 19 was organised by the Portuguese Navy, the Faculty of Engineering of Porto (FEUP) and by the NATO Center for Marine Research and Experimentation (CMRE).

The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC, UP-FEUP and ISEP.