Maritime Exploration Hall

Panoramic view of the large basin
Panoramic view of the large basin (Photo: DFKI GmbH)

The 1,300 m² Maritime Exploration Hall serves to test new robotic technologies on and under water. Everyday missions of the offshore industry are simulated, maneuvers are carried out and skills of future systems are demonstrated. The infrastructure comprises a large basin, two separate test basins, a virtual reality laboratory, a pressure chamber as well as complete technical equipment from cranes up to laboratories.

Co-financing

The Federal State of Bremen invested 3.1 million Euros from EFRE funds in the new building and the Maritime Exploration Hall, 4 million Euros are co-financed by the DFKI itself.

Technical infrastructure at a glance:

Additional separate test basins
Additional separate test basins
Pressure chamber
Pressure chamber
Virtual Reality Lab
Virtual Reality Lab

  • a 23 m x 19 m x 8 m test basin, including mechanical infrastructure

    • 3.4 million liters of saltwater (18 g of salt per liter)
    • crane systems (12.5 t and 250 kgs) to immerse systems and test objects in the basin
    • a window close to ground level that allows observers to look into the large basin
    • space for two 20’ containers near the basin and a spacious logistics area in front of the building

  • separate test basins

    • a 5 m x 4 m x 2.2 m glass tank containing 40,000 liters of water with three glass walls for optimum observation of test runs
    •  a 3.4 m x 2.6 m x 2.2 m black tank that can be covered to shield it against external light and permitting control of the water turbidity

  • a virtual reality lab as an immersive, interactive 3D test environment

    • projection surface consisting of seven elements with an overall area of 21.6 m²
    • interaction in a virtual test environment by means of a CyberTouch data glove

  • workshops and workstations

Large basin

The heart of the facility is a large basin filled with saltwater, measuring 23 m x 19 m x 8 m. With 3.4 million liters of saltwater research conditions are created which are controllable and observable and are not subject to changes in weather. A 2 m x 3 m window close to ground level allows observers to look from the foyer of the new DFKI building in Robert-Hooke-Straße 1 into the large basin.

Two crane system. (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)
Two crane system. (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)
The diving robots can be tested in 3.5 million litres of salt water. (Photo: Christopher Gaudig, DFKI GmbH)
The diving robots can be tested in 3.5 million litres of salt water. (Photo: Matthias Goldhoorn, DFKI GmbH)
From the foyer, robot Dagon can be observed during a test drive through the panaromic window. (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)
From the foyer, robot Dagon can be observed during a test drive through the panaromic window. (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)

Modellings in the large basin

Pipeline

View of the pipeline
View of the pipeline

For tests and further developments of detectors and regulators that are used in pipeline-trackings, a 12 m long sanded tube was installed on synthetic rock plates  at the bottom of  the basin. The similar shades of tube and bottom are, relating to the used visual algorithms, a special challenge. The pipeline has got a bend of 45 degrees.

Tripod-foundation of wind power stations

To simulate the inspection of vertical structures, a scaleable model of a tripod-foundation was installed on the basin wall. It is about one of the three legs of the foundation with a colour scheme similar to the original one.

Offshore oil/gas-control-panel

The replica of a control-panel from the oil production platform „Deepwater Horizon“ is used for the testing of underwater vehicles during inspection and manipulation. The replica, which is fixed on one of he basin walls, has got adjustable and rotatable controls.

Fishing net

To test and develop visual algorithms for inspections, a 5 m x 5 m big fishing net was installed in the basin. Later a detection of net-defects should be tested on it.

3d landscape (cavernous with bottom, wall and ceiling)

To test the navigation not only but with rock formations, a cavernous 3d landscape out of synthetic rock plates was installed in the basin. It has bottom-, wall- and ceiling plates.

Separate test basins

Moreover, the Maritime Exploration Hall comprises a glass tank containing 40.000 liters with three glass walls for optimum oberservation of test runs. A further test basin, the so-called black tank, can be covered to shield it against external light and permitting control of the water turbidity. A gentry crane with a lifting capacity of 500 kgs spans the whole basin area.

Glass tank 40 m³

Glass tank front view  (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)
Glass tank front view (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)
Max. capacity:40 m³
Size (l x w x d):5 m x 4 m x 2.2 m
Material:Glass and steel
Observability:Full observability from outside the tank through 3 glass walls
Water treatment:Circulation efficiency max. 28 m³/h
Monolayer-sand-filtration
UV-sterilization 75 W
Automatic regulation of water parameters
Specificity:Complete observability of outside

Black tank 20 m³

The black tank (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)
The black tank (Photo: Annemarie Hirth, DFKI GmbH)
Light protection
Light protection
C-Manipulator in black tank
C-Manipulator in black tank
Max. capacity:20 m³
Size (l x w x d):3.4 m x 2.6 m x 2.2 m
Material:PE (black)
Observability:Through 2 small observation windows
Water treatment:Circulation efficiency max. 28 m³/h
Monolayer-sand-filtration
UV-sterilization 40 W
Automatic regulation of water parameters
Specificity: Optical simulation of underwater environments without external light 
Gantry crane:
Manufacturer:Parker Hannifin
Axis:3 (X, Y, Z)
Type:X/Y-axis: HPLA120
Z-axis: HZR100
Maximum speed:5 m/s
Maximum acceleration:10 m/s²
Nominal drive torque:X/Y: 74.2 Nm
Z: 57.3 Nm
Repeat accuracy:+/- 0.2 mm
Live load:1500 N
Max traversing distance:X: 3400 mm
Y: 2600 mm
Z: 2000 mm

Video

In der Maritimen Explorationshalle werden Robotersysteme für den Einsatz auf und unter Wasser getestet.

© DFKI GmbH
last updated 29.09.2017
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