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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

  • Name

    Bruno Miguel Ferreira
  • Role

    Senior Researcher
  • Since

    01st January 2010
011
Publications

2024

Probabilistic Positioning of a Mooring Cable in Sonar Images for In-Situ Calibration of Marine Sensors

Authors
Oliveira A.J.; Ferreira B.M.; Cruz N.A.; Diamant R.;

Publication
IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing

Abstract
The calibration of sensors stationed along a cable in marine observatories is a time-consuming and expensive operation that involves taking the mooring out of the water periodically. In this paper, we present a method that allows an underwater vehicle to approach a mooring, in order to take reference measurements along the cable for in-situ sensor calibration. We use the vehicle's Mechanically Scanned Imaging Sonar (MSIS) to identify the cable's reflection within the sonar image. After pre-processing the image to remove noise, enhance contour lines, and perform smoothing, we employ three detection steps: 1) selection of regions of interest that fit the cable's reflection pattern, 2) template matching, and 3) a track-before-detect scheme that utilized the vehicle's motion. The later involves building a lattice of template matching responses for a sequence of sonar images, and using the Viterbi algorithm to find the most probable sequence of cable locations that fits the maximum speed assumed for the surveying vessel. Performance is explored in pool and sea trials, and involves an MSIS onboard an underwater vehicle scanning its surrounding to identify a steel-core cable. The results show a sub-meter accuracy in the multi-reverberant pool environment and in the sea trial. For reproducibility, we share our implementation code.

2023

Estimation of Sediments in Underwater Wall Corners using a Mechanical Scanning Sonar

Authors
Goncalves, CF; Cruz, NA; Ferreira, BM;

Publication
2023 IEEE International Symposium on Underwater Technology, UT 2023

Abstract
This paper describes a robotic system to detect and estimate the volume of sediments in underwater wall corners, in scenarios with zero visibility. All detection and positioning is based on data from a scanning sonar. The main idea is to scan the walls and the bottom of the structure to detect the corner, and then use data obtained in the direction of the corner to estimate the presence of sediment accumulation and its volume. Our approach implements an image segmentation to extract range from the surfaces of interest. The resulting data is then employed for relative localization and estimate of the sediment accumulation. The paper provides information about the methodologies developed and data from practical experiments. © 2023 IEEE.

2023

Single Receiver Underwater Localization of an Unsynchronized Periodic Acoustic Beacon Using Synthetic Baseline

Authors
Ferreira, BM; Graça, PA; Alves, JC; Cruz, NA;

Publication
IEEE JOURNAL OF OCEANIC ENGINEERING

Abstract
This article addresses the 3-D localization of a stand-alone acoustic beacon based on the Principle of Synthetic Baseline using a single receiver on board a surface vehicle. The process only uses the passive reception of an acoustic signal with no explicit synchronization, interaction, or communication with the acoustic beacon. The localization process exploits the transmission of periodic signals without synchronization to a known time reference to estimate the time-of-arrival (ToA) with respect to an absolute time basis provided by the global navigation satellite system (GNSS). We present the development of the acoustic signal acquisition system, the signal processing algorithms, the data processing of times-of-arrival, and an estimator that uses times-of-arrival and the coordinates where they have been collected to obtain the 3-D position of the acoustic beacon. The proposed approach was validated in a real field application on a search for an underwater glider lost in September 2021 near the Portuguese coast.

2023

Sensor Placement in an Irregular 3D Surface for Improving Localization Accuracy Using a Multi-Objective Memetic Algorithm

Authors
Graça, A; Alves, C; Ferreira, M;

Publication
Sensors

Abstract
Accurate localization is a critical task in underwater navigation. Typical localization methods use a set of acoustic sensors and beacons to estimate relative position, whose geometric configuration has a significant impact on the localization accuracy. Although there is much effort in the literature to define optimal 2D or 3D sensor placement, the optimal sensor placement in irregular and constrained 3D surfaces, such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) or other structures, is not exploited for improving localization. Additionally, most applications using AUVs employ commercial acoustic modems or compact arrays, therefore the optimization of the placement of spatially independent sensors is not a considered issue. This article tackles acoustic sensor placement optimization in irregular and constrained 3D surfaces, for inverted ultra-short baseline (USBL) approaches, to improve localization accuracy. The implemented multi-objective memetic algorithm combines an evaluation of the geometric sensor’s configuration, using the Cramer-Rao Lower Bound (CRLB), with the incidence angle of the received signal. A case study is presented over a simulated homing and docking scenario to demonstrate the proposed optimization algorithm. © 2023 by the authors.

2023

Sensor Placement in an Irregular 3D Surface for Improving Localization Accuracy Using a Multi-Objective Memetic Algorithm

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

Publication
SENSORS

Abstract
Accurate localization is a critical task in underwater navigation. Typical localization methods use a set of acoustic sensors and beacons to estimate relative position, whose geometric configuration has a significant impact on the localization accuracy. Although there is much effort in the literature to define optimal 2D or 3D sensor placement, the optimal sensor placement in irregular and constrained 3D surfaces, such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) or other structures, is not exploited for improving localization. Additionally, most applications using AUVs employ commercial acoustic modems or compact arrays, therefore the optimization of the placement of spatially independent sensors is not a considered issue. This article tackles acoustic sensor placement optimization in irregular and constrained 3D surfaces, for inverted ultra-short baseline (USBL) approaches, to improve localization accuracy. The implemented multi-objective memetic algorithm combines an evaluation of the geometric sensor's configuration, using the Cramer-Rao Lower Bound (CRLB), with the incidence angle of the received signal. A case study is presented over a simulated homing and docking scenario to demonstrate the proposed optimization algorithm.

Supervised
thesis

2022

Adaptive close-range navigation for inspection pf underwater structures

Author
Ana Rita da Silva Gaspar

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

Underwater picking

Author
Samuel Aguiar Pereira

Institution
UP-FEUP

2021

The moderator effect of information sharing on the relationship between digital technologies adoption and innovation performance

Author
Cláudia Monteiro

Institution
UP-FEP

2021

Evaluation of the influence and impacts of an augmented reality application as a tool to support production in the context of industry 4.0

Author
Gabriel de Moura Costa

Institution
UP-FEUP

2020

Relative location of autonomous underwater vehicles using visual markers

Author
João Manuel Vieira da Cruz Granja

Institution
UP-FEUP