Real time in-situ measurements are essential for monitoring and understanding physical and biochemical changes within ocean environments. Phenomena of interest usually display spatial and temporal dynamics that span different scales. As a result, a combination of different vehicles, sensors, and advanced control algorithms are required in oceanographic monitoring systems. In this study our group presents the design of a distributed heterogeneous autonomous sensor network that combines underwater, surface, and aerial robotic vehicles along with advanced sensor payloads, planning algorithms and learning principles to successfully operate across the scales and constraints found in coastal environments. Examples where the robotic sensor network is used to localize algal blooms and collect modeling data in the coastal regions of the island nation of Singapore and to construct 3D models of marine structures for inspection and harbor navigation are presented. The system was successfully tested in seawater environments around Singapore where the water current is around 1–2m/s.

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