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About

About

I am a Senior Researcher at the center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems at INESC TEC. I graduated in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, first with a MSc degree in 2009 and with a PhD degree in 2014. Since 2009, I have been working on Surface and Underwater Robotics, researching on Control, Guidance, Localization and Coordination of marine robots.

My activities have been developed in the context of several national and international projects, among which the following are highlighted: Lajeado (development of an AUV for dam inspection); FP7 ICARUS (Integrated Components for Assisted Rescue and Unmanned Search operations); and FLEXUS (Flexible Unmanned Surface vehicles for the Internet of moving things), funded by H2020 RAWFIE project.

I am also involved in the development of several robotic systems and at the origin of several prototypes such as the autonomous surface vehicle FLEXUS and the autonomous underwater vehicle SHAD.

Interest
Topics
Details

Details

012
Publications

2022

An Autonomous System for Collecting Water Samples from the Surface

Authors
Pinto, AF; Cruz, NA; Ferreira, BM; Abreu, NM; Goncalves, CE; Villa, MP; Matos, AC; Honorio, LD; Westin, LG;

Publication
OCEANS 2022

Abstract

2022

Genetic Algorithm to Solve Optimal Sensor Placement for Underwater Vehicle Localization with Range Dependent Noises

Authors
Villa, M; Ferreira, B; Cruz, N;

Publication
SENSORS

Abstract
In source localization problems, the relative geometry between sensors and source will influence the localization performance. The optimum configuration of sensors depends on the measurements used for the source location estimation, how these measurements are affected by noise, the positions of the source, and the criteria used to evaluate the localization performance. This paper addresses the problem of optimum sensor placement in a plane for the localization of an underwater vehicle moving in 3D. We consider sets of sensors that measure the distance to the vehicle and model the measurement noises with distance dependent covariances. We develop a genetic algorithm and analyze both single and multi-objective problems. In the former, we consider as the evaluation metric the arithmetic average along the vehicle trajectory of the maximum eigenvalue of the inverse of the Fisher information matrix. In the latter, we estimate the Pareto front of pairs of common criteria based on the Fisher information matrix and analyze the evolution of the sensor positioning for the different criteria. To validate the algorithm, we initially compare results with a case with a known optimal solution and constant measurement covariances, obtaining deviations from the optimal less than 0.1%. Posterior, we present results for an underwater vehicle performing a lawn-mower maneuver and a spiral descent maneuver. We also present results restricting the allowed positions for the sensors.

2022

Sonar-based Cable Detection for in-situ Calibration of Marine Sensors

Authors
Oliveira, AJ; Ferreira, BM; Diamant, R; Cruz, NA;

Publication
2022 IEEE/OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Symposium, AUV 2022

Abstract
In-situ calibration of marine sensors requires close-range positioning. In turn, localization relative to a given object of interest is necessary. This paper deals with the detection of a vertical cable hanging from a marine observatory implemented by means of a moored buoy. An algorithm composed of sequential image filtering, segmentation and template matching is proposed. Two approaches for generating the cable's acoustic image template are introduced. The performance of the approaches, obtained by comparison with ground-truth measurements, are illustrated over challenging cluttered acoustic images collected in a test tank. The results indicate a performance better than 74% of the best candidate to match the actual cable. © 2022 IEEE.

2022

On the localization of an acoustic target using a single receiver

Authors
Ferreira, B; Alves, J; Cruz, N; Graca, P;

Publication
Oceans Conference Record (IEEE)

Abstract
This paper addresses the localization of an unsynchronized acoustic source using a single receiver and a synthetic baseline. The enclosed work was applied in a real search of an electric glider that was lost at sea and later recovered, using the described approach. The search procedure is presented along with the localization methods and a metric based on the eigenvalues of the Fisher Information Matrix is used to quantify the expected uncertainty of the estimate. © 2022 IEEE.

2022

Multi-Objective optimization of Sensor Placement in a 3D Body for Underwater Localization

Authors
Graca, PA; Alves, JC; Ferreira, BM;

Publication
Oceans Conference Record (IEEE)

Abstract
Underwater acoustic localization is a challenging task. Most techniques rely on a network of acoustic sensors and beacons to estimate relative position, therefore localization uncertainty becomes highly dependent on the selected sensor configuration. Although several works in literature exploit optimal sensor placement to improve localization over large regions, the conditions contemplated in these are not applicable for the optimization of the acoustic sensors on constrained 3D shapes, such as the body of small underwater vehicles or structures. Additionally, most commercial systems used for localization with ultra-short baseline (USBL) configurations have compact acoustic sensors that cannot be spatially positioned independently. This work tackles the optimization of acoustic sensor placement in a limited 3D shape, in order to improve the localization accuracy for USBL applications. The implemented multi-objective memetic algorithm combines the Cramer-Rao Lower Bound (CRLB) configuration evaluation with incidence angle considerations for the sensor placement. © 2022 IEEE.

Supervised
thesis

2021

Information-aware Feature-based Underwater Localization and Planning

Author
António José Ventura de Oliveira

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

Underwater Localization in Complex Environments

Author
Maria Sara Delgadinho Noronha

Institution
UP-FEUP

2020

Guidance of an Autonomous Surface Vehicle for Underwater Navigation Aid

Author
José Pedro Martins Pires e Sousa

Institution
UP-FEUP

2020

Information-aware Feature-based Underwater Localization and Motion Planning

Author
António José Ventura de Oliveira

Institution
UP-FEUP

2020

Underwater mapping using a SONAR

Author
João Pedro Bastos Fula

Institution
UP-FEUP