cooperAtion unDerwater foR effIcient operATions vehICles – ADRIATIC



PA3: Automation, sensors, monitoring and observations


PA3: Underwater technology


Beia Consult International – Romania

Elkon Elektrik San. Tic. A.S – Turkey

OBSS Teknoloji A.S. – Turkey

Norwegian University of Science and Technology Computer Science – Norway

uSEA Corporate – Norway



TOTAL COSTS: 1479000 €


The current capabilities of Unmanned Underwater and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (UUVs and USVs, respectively) have leveraged the implementation of increasingly complex missions at sea. Thus, nowadays there is a huge interest in the development of advanced techniques for cooperative and coordinated operation by multiple autonomous vehicles, since such approach promises a performance, robustness, flexibility, and adaptability that is unachievable with a single vehicle. Despite the growing interest in the field, most of the ongoing research work is purely theoretical or, if experimental, focused on partial aspects of the whole mission loop and tightly coupled to the available vehicles and architectures in these developments. ADRIATIC aims at taking this situation to the next level by developing a vendor-neutral software framework for mission planning and simulation of cooperative autonomous marine vehicles. This solution will integrate the whole mission loop (Autonomous Navigation; Environment Recognition and Sensing; Water/Underwater Communications) while expanding the functionalities of existing open-source libraries and APIs focused on specific aspects of UUV/USV operation, such as vessel dynamics, guidance, navigation (UUV Simulator, UWSim) or underwater image processing (UNDROIP). A simulation environment will be used to develop and verify the task planning navigation and the control of the system. Simulation will provide a flexible environment test and demonstrate different scenarios and vehicles. This approach will remove the restrictions of having limited access to hardware and will increase software reusability, lowering the existing entrance barrier to UUV/USV operation. ADRIATIC combines the efforts of four companies and one university from three European countries, which common vision is to expand the use of underwater vehicles to facilitate the conception, planning and execution of maritime and offshore operations and missions. This will reduce operational costs, increase the safety of tasks and of involved individuals, and expand the offshore sector.


ADRIATIC combines the complementary efforts of five organisations from three European countries and adopts a transdisciplinary approach in developing a comprehensive smart system for monitoring, inspection, intervention and path planning/guidance methodologies for marine vehicles (AUVs/ROVs). The comprehensive technology developed within a duration of 36 months will ensure coordinated navigation and efficient operations of multiple cooperative vehicles underwater.


General objectives

The primary goal of the ADRIATIC project is to expand the use of underwater vehicles (AUVs, ROVs) to facilitate the conception, planning and execution of maritime and offshore operations and missions. This will reduce the operational costs, increase the safety of tasks and of involved individuals, and expand the offshore sector. To that extent, an integrated software platform for a new generation of autonomous maritime and underwater operation will be developed as a set of components, adopted and incorporated into the current generation of maritime and underwater vehicles in order to improve autonomy, robustness, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of offshore operations, namely through vehicles cooperation.

Scientific and technological aims

ADRIATIC project aims to make UUVs further accessible and useful, making autonomous maritime and offshore operations a viable option for new and existent industries. Thus, enabling UUVs to work in a cooperative mesh will open up new applications and ensuring re-usability by promoting heterogeneous standard vehicles that can combine their capabilities, in detriment of further costly specialised vehicles.

Specifically the following technological features are set to be achieved:

  • A distributed, integrated and coordinated vendor-neutral software framework that enable UUVs, from different manufactures, to share (integrate) functionalities (robot features) in a transparent way;
  • A distributed set of intelligent components for perception, decision-making and environment recognition capable of assisting the vehicles in characterizing the working environment;
  • Improved communication technologies as a base of cooperation and information exchange among vehicles, as well as the sensing (vision and acoustic) technologies
  • Enhanced control and management services, to assist in the execution of mission’s tasks, entrusting an ADRIATIC platform with creating, monitoring, controlling and managing the mission’s activities autonomously in real-time.
  • A simulation environment to develop and verify the task planning navigation and the control of the system.Simulation will provide a flexible environment to work on different kinds of environments and vehicles. This way it can provide an environment where the software modules can be integrated and mission scenarios can be tested and demonstrated.

The novelty of the project is demonstrated at four axes outlined below:

  1. Information exchange:
  • Architecture for cooperative UUVs
  • Semantic information model for management of maritime missions;
  • DDS based middleware for reliable RF and acoustic communications;
  • MMT for mission planning and supervision;
  • Multi-vehicle mission planning and re-planning algorithms for efficient operations and coordinated navigation;
  1. Data-level:
  • Pilot sites scene building
  • Simulation of underwater cameras and synthesis of optical 3D image datasets
  • Simulation of sonar sensors and synthesis of acoustic image datasets
  • Underwater image pre-processing pipeline
  • Context awareness framework for situational and environmental awareness during the mission
  • Integration of the proposed framework within robotic simulators and test benching
  1. Network:
  • Robust communication network protocol stack for underwater and overwater nodes management;
  • Build a high speed underwater acoustic data link;
  • Build a short-range high bandwidth underwater acoustic data link;
  • Define, develop, integrate and deploy the ADRIATIC communication framework.
  1. Autonomous navigation
  • Intuitive Input Device and User Interface
  • Simulator for underwater vehicles and missions for model based engineering and mission testing
  • Autonomous docking methods for underwater vehicles
  • Sensory based motion primitives for selected vehicles (navigation)
  • 3D path planning algorithms


The project will be managed according to the Project Management Institute (PMI) standards. It features a set of roles and committees, procedures, decision making process, risk management and communication as described as follows. Roles and Committees. The main management and communication processes are defined respectively in WP1 and WP8 descriptions. Management procedures will be further refined in D1.2 Project Handbook. Communication policy will be further refined in D8.1 Project Communication Plan. For the application of those processes, the following Roles and Committees have been defined. The Project Officer is the representative of the EU Program for monitoring the good progress of the project compared to the work described in the Grant Agreement. His direct point of contact with the consortium is the Project Coordinator. The Project Coordinator (PC) addresses all project management matters required to integrate and coordinate the initiation, preparation, execution, control and closure of the project. The PC is the official link between the consortium and EU. The Work Package Leaders (WPL) coordinate the work within individual tasks and are responsible for the control and quality of the deliverables associated with each WP. The Task Leaders (TL) manage a specific task, under control of the Work Package Leader. They are responsible for the work and delivery, including the contributions from other partners to the task. The General Assembly (GA) consists of one representative council with an executive authority of each partner and is responsible for contractual matters.

WP1 –Project Management

Management has been defined to deal with important basic aspects such as project governance, day-to-day management, technical management and IPR issues. ADRIATIC has clearly identified the different roles required for the successful management of an international RTD collaboration and provided the necessary entities for decision making, coordination and operational management and additional

support and guidance through expert groups. Based on the procedures developed in several earlier projects by the partners and proper administrative support, the consortium expects to manage the ADRIATIC project adequately. This WP involves coordinating the consortium, dealing with all financial aspects of the project, providing the necessary reports and inputs for dissemination, organizing regular project meetings and workshops.

WP2 – Autonomous operations design: Requirements, design methodology, verification and validation, focuses on identifying requirements and use-cases, and developing a methodology for efficient design, verification and validation of autonomous underwater operations

WP3 – Coordination Architecture and Specification, includes designing a platform to implement autonomous functions using general hardware and software components to build cooperative underwater AUVs/ROVs, namely through a semantic middleware that facilitates management, monitoring and control of networked AUVs/ROVs

WP4 – Environment Recognition and Sensing, includes the design and development of an environment sensing system where information from visual, acoustic, and position sensors are combined with information received from other AUVs/ROVs, to perform context and object recognition, and also mapping and localization

WP5 – Communication and Networking, aims to design and develop a high-speed underwater data link based on acoustic transmitters/receivers for wireless docking of a AUV/ROV with a gateway bottom/surface node, and to design and develop an overlay network, by selecting and adapting suitable robust data-link, MAC and network communication protocols, for information exchange among cooperating vehicles and other elements involved in a mission. In this WP BEIA will be develop Vehicle embedded architecture and task planning, targets porting the software architecture to be embedded on AUVs/ROVs. By means of the conceived planning in WP3 for the deployed vehicles, tasks will be supervised; additionally, (re)planning and reconfiguration of the vehicles behaviour due to unforeseen events will also be addressed

WP6 – Autonomous navigation has the objective of offering a collection of functionalities that ease coordinated pathway and efficient operations of deployed vehicles. This work package will mostly be concerned with Execution and Coordination Level control whereas Organisation level control will mostly be handled by task planning capabilities in WP6. Autonomous control work package has the objective to control the vehicles to complete the tasks and subtasks that are required to complete the mission while ensuring the safety and coordination of the deployed vehicles.

WP7 – Demonstrator: Definition, Integration, Verification and Validation, addresses the development and configuration of the infrastructure for carrying out the integrated demonstration and validation of ADRIATIC developments.The demonstrator WP goal is to show the achievements of the individual WPs, and to show how they complement each other by demonstrating this in a context. The applications of WPs results are intended to be quite general as the overall goal of the project is general. The  demonstrator WP is more specific, and based on a limited number of scenarios. The defined scenarios will be used for simulations, calculations and demonstrations. Real operational data will be used where possible, to demonstrate all WPs simulations will be used to make the demonstrator complete. Simulations are important to demonstrate algorithms and software, and for these WPs more scenarios will be possible to demonstrate this way.

WP8 – Dissemination, Exploitation and Standardization

This section will provide the promotion and dissemination through different channels, participations in relevant industrial trade fairs and scientific conferences, papers presented at conferences and scientific articles in relevant journals, presence, via website and major online social networks, consolidated exploitation plans and roadmaps namely from industrial partners and fruitful cooperation activities with other relevant EU projects.

Phases and activities

Phase 1 – Setting requirements, defining architecture and designing components HW-SW 15/06/2021 – 31/12/2021

Act 1.1 – Establishing technical and functional requirements for the design of autonomous underwater agents: development of autonomous systems and communication model

Act 1.2 – Defining the technical architecture and component specifications for AUVs and ROVs and developing a semantic information model for maritime mission management

Phase 2 – 3D modeling; Infrastructure design, IoT components and GUI

Activity 2.1 Definition and implementation of the 3D modeling tools (linked to T4.1)

  • In this activity, the context of aquatic imaging and the 3D modeling tools that will be used to recreate 3D scenes were presented.

Activity 2.2 Communication infrastructure design: Building the underwater data link, establishing the communication framework, designing the software architecture (linked to T5.1, T5.2, T5.3, T5.4, T5.5, T5.6, T5. 7)

  • Within this activity, the communication and network requirements for the ADRIATIC project were defined, along with its design. The construction of a high-speed underwater acoustic data link, the construction of a short-range high-bandwidth underwater acoustic data link were presented. Also, the definition, development, integration and implementation of the communication framework were illustrated. The RSOA modular architecture and its adaptation to more AUVs and ROVs, as well as the adaptation mechanisms in case of disruptive events were presented.

Activity 2.3 Design of the IoT components for data collection and GUI: establishing the input device and user interface, layout setup of the main motion sensors, underwater vehicle simulator development  (correlated with T6.1, T6.2, T6.4)

  • This activity will provide a brief introduction pf the IoT components design requirements for data collection and graphical interface. Then, the simulation environment for underwater vehicles, navigation, and mission planning and management functions will be described.

Phase 3 – Defining the scenarios, implementing the test environment and validating the technical solution

Activity 3.1 Definition of test scenarios and validation of the technical solution

Activity 3.2 Implementation of the environment for testing and validating the technical solution; laboratory level testing


  • Background on Underwater Imaging and Sensor Simulation
  • Underwater 3D Virtual Environment for ADRIATIC
  • Underwater optical and acoustic image sensor simulation and generation of synthetic datasets
  • Underwater Image Pre-processing Pipeline
  • Deploy multiple AUV in Gazebo
  • Employ sonar sensor data
  • Perform  search and survey
  • Integration of Matlab and OMNeT++ for emulation of communication between AUVs
  • Implementation of underwater communication channel between AUV in OMNeT++

Dissemination activities

  • EUVIP 2023 – 11th – 14th September 2023
    11th European Workshop on Visual Information Processing (EUVIP 2023) held in Gjøvik, Norway from September 11th to 14th
    NTNU presented a scientific article and a dissemination paper on the project results and impact.
    Event attended by leading experts from academia and industry

  • Adriatic Open Day Event – 28th September 2023
    Adriatic Project Open Day Event – September 28, 2023, organized by BEIA.
    Sessions focused on exploring opportunities, addressing challenges, and contemplating future collaborations.
    Presentation of ADRIATIC technical work by coordinator and other partners.
    Final segment “Synergies with Other Projects and Initiatives” featured speakers representing various companies and projects.

  • Blue-GreenWay Open Day – 19th October 2023
    Open Day Event – October 19, 2023, organized by BEIA for introducing the BLUE-GREENWAY project
    Discussions on eutrophication in the country.
    Event featured speakers directly associated with the project who provided insights into its objectives, eutrophication concerns, pilot programs, and the corresponding treatment methodologies.
    Several speakers from outside of the project presented their take on the eutrophication issues present in Romania.

  • GoTech World 2023 – 8th – 9th November 2023

At BEIA Consult, we emphasize the importance of knowledge exchange for fostering growth. Our involvement in GoTech World provided an ideal platform to impart our expertise and perspectives. Having the opportunity to set up a booth allowed us to interact with attendees, delve into discussions about the latest technological advancements, and showcase our innovative solutions.

A notable aspect of our experience at GoTech World was the chance to establish connections and broaden our network. Meeting with industry leaders, startups, and potential collaborators who share our enthusiasm for technological progress was a privilege. This event served as an optimal environment to lay the foundation for future partnerships that have the potential to shape the trajectory of technology.

  • Martera Fall Meeting 2023


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