Bionic Observation and Survey System – Cognition and Network

Duration: 01.04.2013 - 31.03.2017
Project Leader: Prof. Dr.-Ing Horst Hellbrück
Staff: Gunther Ardelt, Tim Esemann, Torsten Teubler


BOSS System

The joint research project BOSS (Bionic Observation and Survey System) develops innovative underwater-vehicles shaped like bionic manta rays. The underwater vehicles are supposed to perform surveying and monitoring tasks in the open sea. The manta rays will be operated by remote control or act autonomous as a swarm. BOSS is conducted by Lübeck University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with two industry-partners, EvoLogics GmbH and Sea & Sun Technology GmbH. EvoLogics acts as project coordinator and develops the manta rays as bionic underwater vehicles. Sea & Sun Technology is responsible for the underwater sensor system. Lübeck University of Applied Sciences develops maritime information and communication solutions in the subproject COGNET (Cognition and Network).


COGNET creates a dynamic mobile underwater-intranet based on heterogeneous flexible ad-hoc-networks with telemetric connectivity, which is also integrated in the internet. The autonomous manta rays get equipped with purpose-built sensor modules and interfaces for multimedia-based communication and navigation. First the mantas’ intelligent, cognitive and auto-adaptive properties will be implemented as well as methods for the interoperable system integration of communication and navigation. Capabilities to act cooperatively and self-organized inside a swarm will be added successively. To achieve these goals, a rule-base expert system is implemented and gradually extended. Existing wireless sensor testbeds and correspondent expert knowledge regarding the composition of simulations and testbeds is utilized in practical tests and optimization. 

Project Partners




Sea&Sun Technology



Dieses Projekt wird gefördert vom Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie. 

Förderkennzeichen:  03SX361C, BOSS - COGNET



Refereed Articles and Book Chapters
[2017] Memory Efficient Forwarding Information Base for Content-Centric Networking (Torsten Teubler, Dennis Pfisterer, Horst Hellbrück), In International Journal of Computer Networks & Communications (IJCNC), volume 9, 2017. [bib] [pdf] [abstract]
Content-Centric Networking (CCN) is a new paradigm for the future Internet where content is addressed by hierarchically organized names with the goal to replace TCP/IP networks. Unlike IP addresses, names have arbitrary length and are larger than the four bytes of IPv4 addresses. One important data structure in CCN is the Forwarding Information Base (FIB) where prefixes of names are stored together with the forwarding face. Long prefixes create problems for memory constrained Internet of Things (IoT) devices. In this work, we derive requirements for a FIB in the IoT and survey possible solutions. We investigate, design and compare memory-efficient solutions for the FIB based on hashes and Bloom-Filters. For large number of prefixes and an equal distribution of prefixes to faces we recommend a FIB implementation based on Bloom-Filters. In all other cases, we recommend an implementation of the FIB with hashes.
[2016] Receiving more than data - a signal model, theory and implementation of a cognitive IEEE 802.15.4 receiver (Tim Esemann, Horst Hellbrück), In EAI Endorsed Trans. Cognitive Communications, volume 2, 2016. [bib] [pdf] [abstract]
Standard medium access schemes sense the channel immediately prior transmission, but are blind during the transmission. Therefore, standard transceivers have limited cognitive capabilities which are important for operation in heterogeneous radio environments. Specifically, mobile interferers move gradually into the reception range before actually causing collisions. These gradual interferences cannot yet be detected, and upcoming collisions cannot be predicted. We present a theoretical analysis of the received and demodulated signal. This analysis and the derived signal model verifies that the received signal contains more than transmitted data exclusively. Enhanced signal processing extracts signal components of an interference at the receiver and enables advanced interference detection to provide information about approaching mobile interferers. Our theoretical analysis is evaluated by simulations and experiments with an IEEE 802.15.4 transmitter and an extended cognitive receiver.
Refereed Conference Papers
[2018] Autonome Unterwasserfahrzeuge und Kommunikationssysteme (Horst Hellbrück, Torsten Teubler, Gunther Ardelt), In MST 2018 - Multisensortechnologie: Low-Cost Sensoren im Verbund Deutsche Hydrographische Gesellschaft, volume 92, 2018. [bib] [pdf] [abstract]
Jedes moderne geodätische Messinstrument ist ein Multisensorsystem, nicht jedes kann aber als Low-Cost System bezeichnet werden. Dieser Band bietet einen Überblick zu Multisensorsystemen, Beiträge zu mathematischen Modellen zur Sensorfusion sowie zu Kommunikations-, Kalibrier- und Synchronisationsaspekten. Klassische Anwendungen wie Gleisaufnahme, Straßenerfassung sowie Überwachungsaufgaben werden beschrieben. Weitere Anwendungen finden Unterwasser, bei Verkehrsbetrieben und in der kinematischen Ingenieurvermessung statt. Ein Schwerpunkt liegt auf der Positionsbestimmung für Fußgänger und Fahrzeuge.
[2018] Unterwasserkommunikation, Systemvernetzung & autonome Kommunikation im Projekt BOSS (Horst Hellbrück, Gunther Ardelt), In Hydrographie 2018 - Trend zu unbemannten Messsystemen Deutsche Hydrographische Gesellschaft, volume 91, 2018. [bib] [pdf] [abstract]
Mit unbemannten hydrographischen Erfassungssystemen, die meist ferngesteuert, zum Teil autonom oder im Verbund arbeiten, werden neue Anwendungsfelder erschlossen. Es stellt sich die Frage: Wie anwendungsreif und wirtschaftlich sind unbemannte Systeme und wie wirkt sich dies auf das Leistungsspektrum der Hydrographie aus? Dieser Band vermittelt Grundlagen zu Datenerfassungsmethoden mit integrierten Multisensorsystemen und gibt einen aktuellen Überblick über Anwendungen im Binnenbereich sowie Projekte im Hochsee- und Küstenbereich. Der Stand der Technik und die neuesten Entwicklungen werden vorgestellt.
[2017] Name-Centric Services for the Internet of Things (Torsten Teubler, Horst Hellbrück), In 3rd International Conference on Networked Systems (NetSys), 2017. [bib] [abstract]
Today, we see the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). Latest IoT devices are embedded, single-board computers (SBC) equipped with Ethernet and WiFi. Those SBCs are run an operating system and have network interfaces and use standard Internet protocols like IP, TCP, and so on. Compared to the envisioned devices for the future IoT these SBCs are still large and connected to a steady power supply. The next step in evolution towards the future IoT will be smaller, microcontroller driven devices which will operate for years on small batteries. Such small devices communicating via lowpower radios and also equipped with sensors are known as wireless sensor nodes. Ad-hoc networks formed by multiple wireless sensor nodes are so called wireless sensor networks (WSN).
[2017] Optical Underwater Distance Estimation (Mathias Pelka, Martin Mackenberg, Christan Funda, Horst Hellbrück), In Oceans MTS/IEEE, 2017. [bib] [abstract]
Data communication with high data rate and precise underwater positioning with an accuracy of several centimeters is a problem. Precise positioning is important for autonomous operation and helps conserve energy which is important for many tasks. State-of-the-art acoustic communication faces difficulties underwater, e.g. multipath fading or variation of propagation speed. In this work, we propose optical distance estimation, which is the foundation for positioning. We combine the Beer-Lambert law and the inverse-square-law to model the channel of the medium. We investigate different wavelengths and employ curve fitting based on the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm to determine the unknown coefficients of the model e.g. absorption. Our evaluation shows promising results and distance estimation of up to 25~m is possible. In stream water we determined the mean error for the optical distance estimation of 0.04m.
[2017] Wireless Underwater Communication via Analog OFDM Modulated Light (Gunther Ardelt, Martin Mackenberg, Horst Hellbrück), In Proceedings of the International Conference on Underwater Networks & Systems ACM, 2017. [bib] [pdf] [abstract]
Short range wireless high data rate underwater communication systems become increasingly important. We provide the implementation, the setup and measurement results of the bit rate of our optical wireless underwater communication system in the Baltic Sea. In contrast to state of the art, our approach uses low frequency analog OFDM modulated light. This solution increases robustness, flexibility, and range. Furthermore, it decreases power requirements. Even with up to a 30 degree angular displacement of the transmitter the system works very well at a 6 m distance, and with a moderate power consumption of 7 W.
[2016] Testbed for Development of Networked Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (Torsten Teubler, Martin Anschütz, Horst Hellbrück), In Oceans'16 MTS/IEEE Shanghai, 2016. [bib] [abstract]
Development of underwater vehicles is a complex and challenging task. Especially the integration of components like sensors and actuators in a control loop is difficult and costly and requires many experiments. One of the difficulties is the lack of debugging facilities underwater. In this paper, we suggest a distributed system architecture and a testbed concept for the development of networked autonomous underwater vehicles. Our approach is based on standard Ethernet and TCP/IP enabling use of industrial hardware like single board computers and switches. Furthermore, we suggest a mesh network with a layer 2 ad-hoc routing for wireless interconnection of underwater vehicles and infrastructure like base stations. The suggested mesh network integrates WiFi for communication on the surface and under- water electrical field communication. To support the integration process of sensors and actuators we suggest external components for our testbed. We implement an external component including a remotely operated underwater vehicle. This remotely operated underwater vehicle serves as a carrier for sensors and allows the implementation of a control loop in underwater environments. We set up a testbed and present an evaluation of the ad-hoc routing and a dedicated control application with the remotely operated vehicle in a water tub.
[2016] Design of Expert Systems for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Control (Torsten Teubler, Horst Hellbrück), In Oceans'16 MTS/IEEE Monterey, CA, USA, 2016. [bib] [abstract]
The development process of an intelligent autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is based on experiential knowledge leading to uncertainty in the software development for the intelligent AUV control. In this work we suggest an expert system to implement the AUV control software because expert systems handle uncertainty during the development process better than conventional, procedural programming languages. Furthermore, we provide design principles for the system architecture and the expert system. Finally, we present preliminary evaluation results on our designated computer hardware for the AUV we develop in a joint research project.
[2016] Architecture and Message Processing for Name-Centric Services in Wireless Sensor Networks (Torsten Teubler, Horst Hellbrück), In 2016 Advances in Wireless and Optical Communications (RTUWO) (RTUWO2016), 2016. [bib] [abstract]
Name-centric approaches provide maximum flexibility for applications, as a result, the future of Internet services is heading towards the increased importance of name-centric approaches. However, for the Internet of Things to become more name-centric, implementations of resource-constrained devices are required. Although there have been advances in the Internet of Things, such as CoAP and DPWS (Devices Profile for Web Services), these are not considered name-centric. A key to successful name-centric solutions for wireless sensor networks, is efficient handling and processing of names. In this paper we address architectural level communication and implementation for resource constraint devices. Finally, we evaluate the processing times and memory consumption of our implementation.
[2016] Embedded Multibeam Sonar Feature Extraction for Online AUV Control (Matthieu Sion, Torsten Teubler, Horst Hellbrück), In Oceans'16 MTS/IEEE Shanghai, 2016. [bib] [abstract]
For development of an intelligent unmanned au- tonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), sensor data needs to be processed online for navigation and mission planning. In this work, we suggest a complete workflow and a processing chain to retrieve multibeam sonar data for AUV control. Our approach is based on the well-known image processing library OpenCV which provides sophisticated image recognition algorithms. We implement a processing chain for feature extraction on multibeam sonar acoustic image which retrieves contours of objects and coordinate points of the contours. Coordinate points are discrete data which can be easily processed further with additional algorithms. E.g. size of objects can be determined with the coordinate points or an expert system can classify objects with help of the coordinate points. Our solution will be embedded in an online control of an AUV. We evaluate the performance of our feature extraction approach using pre-recorded sonar data.
[2016] A Flexible and Modular Platform for Development of Short-range Underwater Communication (Gunther Ardelt, Martin Mackenberg, Jan Markmann, Tim Esemann, Horst Hellbrück), In Proceedings of the 11th ACM International Conference on Underwater Networks & Systems ACM, 2016. [bib] [pdf] [abstract]
The development process of short-range underwater communication systems consists of different phases. Each phase comprises a multitude of specific requirements to the development platform. Typically, the utilized hardware and software is custom-built for each phase and wireless technology. Thus, the available platforms are usually not flexible and only usable for a single development phase or a single wireless technology. Furthermore, the modification and adaption between the phases and technologies are costly and time-consuming. Platforms providing the flexibility to switch between phases or even wireless technologies are either expensive or are not suitable to be integrated into underwater equipment. We developed a flexible and modular platform consisting of a controller and different front ends. The platform is capable of performing complex tasks during all development phases. To achieve high performance with more complex modulation schemes, we combine an embedded Linux processor with a field programmable gate array (FPGA) for computational demanding tasks. We show that our platform is capable of supporting the development of short-range underwater communication systems using a variety of wireless underwater communication technologies.
[2015] Integrating Expert System CLIPS into DUNE for AUV Control (Torsten Teubler, Liang Shuang, Horst Hellbrück), In Oceans'15 MTS/IEEE Genova, 2015. [bib] [abstract]
In this paper, we motivate the need for a flexible and robust system architecture for autonomous underwater vehicles. We present a novel concept for integrating the expert system CLIPS into an AUV navigation environment DUNE. Our approach provides complete tool support for automatic source code generation and therefore allows fast and target-oriented development of control software for AUVs. We present the design of the architecture comprised of DUNE and CLIPS. In an application example we describe each step of the software development with implementation details. We show the benefits of such an expert system for a flexible AUV control. For evaluation we measure the execution time of the system and the number of fired rules of our expert system. By that we demonstrate that the approach is suited for embedded hardware of an AUV.
[2014] A Solution for the Naming Problem for Name-Centric Services (Torsten Teubler, Mohamed Ahmed M. Hail, Horst Hellbrück), In 12th International Conference on Wired & Wireless Internet Communications (WWIC 2014), 2014. [bib] [abstract]
In recent past name-centric or content-centric networking (CCN) has gained substantial attention in the networking community. In a further development step name-centric service architecture enables the flexible placement and distribution of services in the network especially in a heterogeneous environment of wired and wireless (sensor) networks. However, the problem of structuring and creating hierarchies for names in name-centric networks is not solved yet. E.g. there is no configuration of service names in name-centric service WSN, no concept of unsolicited names or link-local names in CCN. In IP networks, DHCP or IPv6 auto- configuration is available, but no equivalent technique exists for CCN. We analyze the naming problem in the software development life cycle for name-centric services in WSN and propose a structure, hierarchy, and configuration mechanism for names. The paper introduces the overall concept and preliminary steps of implementation.
[2014] Underwater Electric Field Communication (Tim Esemann, Gunther Ardelt, Horst Hellbrück), In Proceedings of the International Conference on Underwater Networks & Systems ACM, 2014. [bib] [pdf] [abstract]
Underwater communications receive more attention with rising need for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and underwater infrastructure. Numerous applications e.g. video streams often require only a short-range wireless transmission up to several meters in seawater with high data rates up to several megabit per second. Radio transmission in high frequency band offers high data rates but due to extreme attenuation the range is limited to less than one meter. Therefore, we suggest to set up an electrical field by two electrodes forming a dipole for transmission and reception in the MF Band (medium frequency band between 100 kHz and 10 MHz). Analytic calculations and simulations verify the concept. In the second step, we measure the transmission channel with different transmitter and receiver geometries. We show that the achievable transmission range of our approach is scalable with the separation distance between the electrodes. In a first practical evaluation with software defined radios we realized a communication link with digital modulation and a data rate of two megabit per second with signal frequency of 2 MHz for several meters.
Refereed Workshop Papers
[2014] Integrated Low-Power SDR enabling Cognitive IEEE 802.15.4 Sensor Nodes (Tim Esemann, Horst Hellbrück), In Proceedings of the 8th Karlsruhe Workshop on Software Radios, 2014. [bib] [abstract]
The number of mobile devices with radio transceivers is increasing. However, standard wireless sensor nodes have limited spectrum awareness in order to avoid col- lisions with other concurrent transmissions in dense spectrum. E.g. IEEE 802.15.4 standard performs carrier sensing before start of the transmission. Spectrum sensing or awareness during the transmission is not provided. These low power devices have only limited capabilities in order to detect and forecast upcoming collisions. In this work, wireless sensor nodes are equipped with additional piggybacked hardware and supplementary signal processing capabilities. An additional RF-frontend and small-size SDR hardware enable sensor nodes to perform cognitive radio functionality. Although the sensor nodes transmit data fully com- pliant to IEEE 802.15.4 the supplementary hardware enhances spectrum awareness significantly even during transmission. A previously published cognitive radio scheme was implemented to demonstrate the signal processing capabilities of the SDR hardware. Additionally, power consumption and battery lifetime were evaluate and calculated.
[2014] Software Defined Transceiver for Underwater Communication (Martin Mackenberg, Christian Janicke, Tim Esemann, Horst Hellbrück), In Proceedings of the European Workshop on Testbed based Wireless Research, 2014. [bib] [abstract]
New applications for autonomous underwater vehicles require underwater wireless communication with data rates up to several megabit per second and a transmission range up to several meter. Regular radio transceivers achieve a poor performance in seawater. Therefore, our project evaluates and implements new approaches for optical, acoustic and electric underwater communication. The goal is to implement a flexible software defined transceiver consisting of a FPGA with exchangeable communication modules.
Other Publications
[2017] A syntactic approach to wreck pattern recognition in sonar images (M. Constapel, T. Teubler, H. Hellbrück), GRIN (T. M. Buzug et. al., ed.), 2017. [bib]
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