Droneo - autonomous USV

water ressources management, dredging and navigation aid

The environmental management, submersion and quantitative and qualitative monitoring of available water resources issues reveal the need for accurate bathymetric, hydro-sedimentary and physico-chemical measurements.
The techniques currently used for bathymetric and hydro-sedimentary monitoring are generally expensive, complex to produce and unsuited to frequent updating request.
That is the reason why we developed Droneo, a Unmanned Surface Vehicle capable of carrying useful and suitable sensors for each specific application.
This USV is an ideal tool to perform accurate, continuous and low cost management campaigns on various watersheds.

The system includes two major components :
• The USV, a multi use generic platform that carries a set of selected sensors according to the applications and the environnements studied
• The PC control with an adapted HMI and the command control laws that allow for both the preparation and the oversight of the mission during its automatic run. A safety lever is provided to manually regain control.

The Droneo system is set up to respect a procedure in three main phases :

Drone deployment : implementation of selected sensors, checking equipment and launching.
Setting the PC control via the adapted HMI : definition of the area to cover, choice of the type of mission and the mode (manual or automatic).

During the acquisition campaign, Droneo carries out its mission in the operating mode defined in the configuration phase. The most complex mode is the 100% autonomous.

In this case, the USV has to :

  • Manage its shifting : acquisition area coverage, shifting anticipation, shifting optimization to minimize consumption.
  • Manage its energy : energy state knowledge, return to recharging base, charging battery
  • Manage failures : warning lifts to PC, choice of failure mode (back to the shore, buoy mode, back to reloading terminal…)
  • Manage various sensors acquisitions : feedback information about the measures progress (eg fully covered area, acquisition problem…). Or by a real-time data transmission based on the communication capabilities and the data size.

Data from all the installed sensors on the USV are merged and presented on a support for the decision software interface (HYPACK).


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Water management and storage are major issues in the agriculture. Nowadays, many dams and hill lakes emerge and their maintenance raises several problematics. One of them is the silting management. The silting gradually decreases the reservoirs’ storage capacity : the loss is estimated to about 10%. Because of the lack of accurate data on the available water actual volume for irrigation, these reservoirs are not used at their maximum capacity.
The use of Droneo to achieve low cost and accurate measurements can answer this problem.

Hydrography is essential to ensure that merchant and cruise ships can securely access ports. Each year ports carry significant dredging campaigns to ensure their navigability. These dredging can be more accurate and less expensive with a better knowledge of their mapping and siltation level. Thanks to the unmanned surface vehicle Droneo, ports can set up a low cost, regular and continuous monitoring solution.

Siltation significantly reduces dams storage capacity. This silt is primarily due to the eroded sediments accumulation. Globally it is estimated that dams retain up to 30% of terrestrial flow sediments upon getting to the oceans. Managers are forced to carry out costly maintenance works or dredging. Droneo provides an answer to these structures’ monitoring and maintenance problems.