Skip to main content

New technology facilitates sensing in shallow water

By April 4, 2024News

New technology facilitates sensing in shallow water


A novel underwater exploration tool developed by the SMaRC family is scheduled to debut in the summer of 2024. It is called Puffin and is characterized by its ability to master shallow water. In contrast to the general AUV, it is designed to vehicle on the surface, making it possible to communicate and transfer data while on a mission, in a way seldom seen in an ocean science context.

The rationale behind Puffin’s development is to facilitate sensing in shallow waters up/down to 100 metersIts typical mission involves surface navigation to the dive location, followed by a vertical descent until reaching the desired depth or making contact with the sea floor. 

Puffin is designed to operate collaboratively in groups. Due to its cost-effectiveness, multiple Puffins can be deployed simultaneously. Upon a designated signal or at a certain time, they perform synchronized dives while logging sensor data, enabling the acquisition of coherent, time-stamped datasets rarely achieved in marine technology.

Due to their ability to conduct synchronized missions, they are anticipated to be highly useful for exploration, plume detection, search missions, and similar tasks. The Puffin development team comprises students and faculty, led by Professor Jakob Kuttenkeuler. It will also serve as an experimental platform suitable for research as well as education at the master’s level.