Event Title

Using Pontoon Boats for Plankton Sampling

Mentor 1

Dr. Thomas Consi

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

Development of a Remotely-Controlled Scientific Sampling BoatBy Cody BeckerAdvisor: Dr. Thomas R. ConsiWork on the Great Lakes is often hampered by limited boat access. To solve this problem we have developed a small remote controlled pontoon boat that will permit students and scientists to rapidly deploy and recover instruments, obtain water and plankton samples, recover objects in a lake, and aid in the deployment of submersible aquatic robots. The boat consists of a fisherman's pontoon boat with deflatable pontoons enabling it to be packed up and carried in the trunk of a car for easy transport to field sites. Two Minkota electric trolling motors drive and steer the vehicle. The motors are driven by a dual DC motor driver/controller and powered by a 12 volt marine battery. The boat is controlled by an onboard microcontroller system that contains a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer along with a GPS receiver and antenna. User commands from shore are transmitted using a standard radio-control (RC) transmitter at a frequency of 2.4GHz. The signals are received by the onboard RC receiver and sent to the microcontroller. Currently the boat is operated in full manual control mode in which user commands are simply relayed to the motors by the microcontroller. We have successfully tested this vehicle in the boat slip next to the School of Freshwater Sciences, running it through a series of straight line paths and turns. The next step in this project will be to install plankton nets onto the boat for remotely-controlled zooplankton sampling. Further into the future we will develop autonomous control software that will enable the boat to maneuver to a set of GPS way points or along a pre-defined trajectory without user intervention thus enabling more complex sampling and sensing missions in Lake Michigan.

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Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

Using Pontoon Boats for Plankton Sampling

Union Wisconsin Room

Development of a Remotely-Controlled Scientific Sampling BoatBy Cody BeckerAdvisor: Dr. Thomas R. ConsiWork on the Great Lakes is often hampered by limited boat access. To solve this problem we have developed a small remote controlled pontoon boat that will permit students and scientists to rapidly deploy and recover instruments, obtain water and plankton samples, recover objects in a lake, and aid in the deployment of submersible aquatic robots. The boat consists of a fisherman's pontoon boat with deflatable pontoons enabling it to be packed up and carried in the trunk of a car for easy transport to field sites. Two Minkota electric trolling motors drive and steer the vehicle. The motors are driven by a dual DC motor driver/controller and powered by a 12 volt marine battery. The boat is controlled by an onboard microcontroller system that contains a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer along with a GPS receiver and antenna. User commands from shore are transmitted using a standard radio-control (RC) transmitter at a frequency of 2.4GHz. The signals are received by the onboard RC receiver and sent to the microcontroller. Currently the boat is operated in full manual control mode in which user commands are simply relayed to the motors by the microcontroller. We have successfully tested this vehicle in the boat slip next to the School of Freshwater Sciences, running it through a series of straight line paths and turns. The next step in this project will be to install plankton nets onto the boat for remotely-controlled zooplankton sampling. Further into the future we will develop autonomous control software that will enable the boat to maneuver to a set of GPS way points or along a pre-defined trajectory without user intervention thus enabling more complex sampling and sensing missions in Lake Michigan.