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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00415

Targeted Sampling by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

 Yanwu Zhang1*,  John P. Ryan1, Brian Kieft1, Brett W. Hobson1, Robert S. McEwen1, Michael A. Godin1, Julio B. Harvey2, James G. Bellingham3,  Jim M. Birch1,  Christopher A. Scholin1 and  Francisco P. Chavez1
  • 1Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), United States
  • 2University of California, Santa Cruz, United States
  • 3Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, United States

In the vast ocean, many ecologically important phenomena are temporally episodic, localized in space, and move according to local currents. To effectively study these complex and evolving phenomena, methods that enable autonomous platforms to detect and respond to targeted phenomena are required. Such capabilities allow for directed sensing and water sample acquisition in the most relevant and informative locations, as compared against static grid surveys. To meet this need, we have designed algorithms for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that detect oceanic features in real time and then direct vehicle and sampling behaviors as dictated by research objectives. These methods have successfully been applied in a series of field programs to study a range of phenomena such as harmful algal blooms, coastal upwelling fronts, and microbial processes in open-ocean eddies. In this brief review we highlight these applications and discuss future directions.

Keywords: Targeted sampling, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), Environmental Sample Processor (ESP), Phytoplankton, Upwelling front, Open-ocean eddy

Received: 08 Jan 2019; Accepted: 04 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Leonard Pace, Schmidt Ocean Institute, United States

Reviewed by:

Alexander L. Forrest, University of California, Davis, United States
Alessandro Ridolfi, University of Florence, Italy
Xing Liu, Zhejiang University of Technology, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Zhang, Ryan, Kieft, Hobson, McEwen, Godin, Harvey, Bellingham, Birch, Scholin and Chavez. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Yanwu Zhang, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Moss Landing, United States, yzhang@mbari.org