UWIS in Search & Rescue exercise with ROV & Alltab
(DLRG Pöcking - Starnberg e.V., Germany)
Mission: Track the SAR divers during their sector searching dives and record the routes, conduct a search using the Alltab underwater tablet without the guiding ropes (with safety rope) and test the use of UWIS in dealing with a small ROV.
The exercise took place at DLRG's base on picturesque lake, Starnberger See, near Munich, Germany.
First, the system was introduced in theory and the content of the two-day exercise was planned. The aim was first to conduct a few sector search trackings and to learn not only UWIS System but also the use of the Alltab tablet and install the UWIS Diver Unit above the ROV.
After learning from the experiences of the first day, the second day we conducted a rectangular search using only the contorol of the underwater tablet and it's navigation software, Valtamer Navigator for UWIS. We also conducted the search for an interesting object, previously found with side scan sonar, using UWIS for tracking a small ROV.
Water temperature was 15 degrees of Celsius, visibility about 7 meters and maximum depth was 10 meters (ROV 15m)
Below are photos during sector sarch. Dives were carried out with rope guidance from the pier.
Panasonic Toughbook with UWIS Tracker software
View from UWIS Tracker - real time tracking
Log in the Google Earth (KML)
Almost without exception, search dives use guide ropes to indicate the search pattern to the diver. This exercise tested the suitability of an underwater tablet (Alltab) for route planning and dive control.
Valtamer Navigator for UWIS software saved eight markers which the diver should navigate in sequence. This produces a pattern that is almost rectangular. The diver always changes the target marker after reaching the previous one. By doing this, the program guides the diver to the new marker showing distance and direction.
Surface diving was monitored with the UWIS Tracker software, which had only four markers (edge corners) set.
Alltab gets the data from the UWIS Diver unit connected via Bluetooth.
Below are photos and screenshots from this exercise. The diver started from marker no. 1. and continued down to 8. During the dive we sent message "Go" to the diver. White triangle in the Navigator map is the location where the diver reached 1m depth at the first time (starting point).
This time we didn't use any overlay in the Navigator but all georeferenced images are possible like satellite maps, hand made maps and drawings.
Alltab in action
View from Navigator (diver's view)
Real time tracking and messaging (onboard view)
The last task was to find the object detected by the side scan sonar earlier. To do this, we mounted one UWIS Diver Unit on the ROV to get its position and depth for navigation every two seconds.
On the surface, UWIS location data was read wirelessly to DeepVidion's DeepView 5.0 software, which shows UWIS buoys and all diver units.
We had marked the potential locations from the different measurements in the program and the ROV was directed to them. In practice, the object was found directly and turned out to be a small dinghy.