Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) - SIRIUS

Short Description

The AUV Sirius being retrieved aboard the R/V Challenger in Tasmania.

The University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) is leading the IMOS AUV Facility and has an ocean going Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) called Sirius capable of undertaking high resolution survey work. This platform is a modified version of a mid-size robotic vehicle called Seabed built at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The submersible is equipped with a full suite of oceanographic instruments, including a high resolution stereo camera pair and strobes, a multibeam sonar, depth and conductivity/temperature sensors, Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) including a compass with integrated roll and pitch sensors, Ultra Short Baseline Acoustic Positioning System (USBL) and forward looking obstacle avoidance sonar. As part of IMOS, the vehicle will be enhanced with a Wetlabs Eco Puck, measuring chlorophyll-a, CDOM and scattering (red), and an Aanderaa Optode, measuring dissolved oxygen concentrations. Requests for additional sensor payloads will be considered and may be supported with IMOS funds allocated for sensor acquisition.

As part of the establishment of the AUV Facility, IMOS will support deployment of the Sirius AUV which will be made available to scientists on a competitive basis in order to assist marine projects in Australia. IMOS will cover the costs of AUV calibration, preparation, insurance, transport within Australia, and access to and storage of the data. Ship-time for the deployment, tracking and recovery of the AUV are the responsibility of the local node requesting the deployment. The use of the AUV must comply with IMOS’ objective to “offer open access to data arising from research infrastructure provided through the IMOS to the national and international marine research communities”.




Research Goals

Our current research activities focus on four main themes. These

  • Improved navigation generating high-resolution, self-consistent, geo-referenced optical/acoustic oceanfloor representations (SLAM)
  • Automated interpretation (novelty measures, classification)
  • Efficient surveys
  • Platforms

Further information can be found here


  • AIMS
  • ARC
  • Thales Australia
  • BAe Systems' Advanced Technology Centre
  • DSTO
  • National Geographic

Type of project