Projects / contracts

SAAM PROJECT: ASSISTED POSITIONING SYSTEM FOR AT-SEA PROVISIONING OF NAVY SHIPS
Principal Investigator: Paula Gómez Pérez
Contact address: paula@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
Fleet ships often spend long periods of time at sea without making stopovers, so it is common for them to need refuelling on the high seas. In the refuelling manoeuvre, the ship requiring refuelling must sail parallel to the logistic support ship to exchange supplies, materials or even personnel. Maintaining direction and speed in conditions of low visibility or rough seas can be extremely difficult and dangerous. Currently, the distance line is used as a reference, but it is insufficient and unreliable.
The SAAM Project implements an Assisted Positioning System for the at-sea provisioning manoeuvre, providing accurate information in real time and under a highly intuitive interface of the navigation data of the receiving and supplying ship, including: lateral and ahead distance, speeds of both ships, and dangerous trend indicators.

VIRTUAL BATTLE LABORATORY FOR IMMERSIVE FIREARM SHOOTING TRAINING (BATTLELAB360)
Principal Investigator: Xavier Núñez Nieto
Email address: xnnieto@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
Fourth Generation Industry (i4.0) has meant a significant increase in the consolidation of the digital world within the Armed Forces (FAS). This project proposes the use of this technology for the hyper-realistic 3D modelling of a battle lab (battlelab), which will serve as a virtual training platform for the military practice of shooting with firearms. By combining various i4.0 techniques, the characteristic graphical environment and user/device interaction will be recreated. In addition, the different Rules of Engagement (ROA) involved in the real battlefield will be recreated and a fully immersive user experience will be obtained. All of this is in accordance with the lines of interest established by the Technology and Innovation Strategy (ETID) of the Ministry of Defence, as described in the Technological Goal (MT.6.4.1.) referring to the modelling of the battlefield and its environment.

BIORREACTOR DESIGN AND OPTIMISATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF NUTRIENTS AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOUNDS IN WATER (Acronym: BNC)
Principal Investigator: Rosa Devesa Rey
Email address: rosa.devesa.rey@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
The main objective of this project is the design and optimisation of a bioreactor for the simultaneous removal of nutrients and pharmaceutical micropollutants from water. The elimination of the proposed compounds will be carried out through the design of a bioreactor equipped with an active filter with a high surface area and biological activity: on the one hand, a ceramic filter functionalised with fibres of an adsorbent material will be manufactured in the laboratory by electrospinning, obtaining a material with a high surface area and uniform pore size, suitable for the adsorption of phosphates. This filter would also allow the eventual desorption and recovery of phosphate, which gives a geostrategic dimension to this stage of the project. On the other hand, the bioreactor will favour the growth of a biofilm composed of heterotrophic microorganisms, photosynthetic bacteria and algae, connected in a complex matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (SPE).
The effect of the biofilm on the reduction and/or detoxification of contaminated water, the role of the active filter in the retention of phosphate and the optimisation of the bioreactor’s operating parameters are the main points of the project: on the one hand, the detoxification of pharmaceutical compounds treated with a bioreactor will be investigated, checking their mitigation with chromatographic techniques and their detoxification by means of phytotoxicity tests; on the other hand, the efficiency of the adsorption process referring to phosphates will be evaluated using spectrophotometric techniques measured in the water column. As a final stage of the project, the data obtained will be used to obtain a mathematical model that allows the conditions that occur in a real scenario to be replicated, with an acceptable degree of error.

STUDY OF RADON GAS BEHAVIOUR IN ENCLOSED SPACES AND INDOOR ENVIRONMENT QUALITY CONTROL THROUGH ENERGY-EFFICIENT VENTILATION (RNVENT)
Principal Investigator: Arturo González Gil
Email address: arturogg@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
The aim of this project is to advance our knowledge on the behaviour of radon gas in indoor spaces and to optimise air renewal as a mitigation measure. Firstly, the experimental study of the different factors that determine the evolution of radon gas in enclosed spaces, including meteorological, constructive and geological factors, will be addressed. As a methodological novelty in this field of study, georadar and advanced acoustic techniques will be applied. Subsequently, a numerical model will be developed to evaluate and predict the behaviour of radon gas in different ventilation scenarios. A transitory model will also be developed to simulate the operation of the ventilation and air-conditioning systems of the premises under study in different working conditions. The main outcome of the project will be the development of a comprehensive tool to facilitate the design of optimal ventilation strategies to ensure adequate levels of air quality and thermal comfort with minimum energy demand.

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A HYDROGEN PRODUCTION PLANT BY REFORMING GLYCERINE FOR POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION IN SUBMARINES WITH AIP TECHNOLOGY
Principal Investigator: Rocío Maceiras Castro
Email address: rmaceiras@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
This project proposes the study of the glycerine reforming technique for the production of hydrogen and its possible use “in situ” in fuel cells. This whole process of hydrogen production and use would be oriented towards a possible implementation in submarines with air-independent propulsion systems, commonly known as AIP or anaerobic systems. To this end, hydrogen production is proposed, using the steam reforming technique applied to glycerine.
In order to achieve this objective, the construction of a steam reformer at pilot plant level and its subsequent commissioning is proposed. Another very important aspect to be taken into account is the purity of the hydrogen obtained in the reforming process, since the presence of impurities can poison the catalyst of the cell. In order to minimise this circumstance and achieve the operating ratios of the fuel cell, based on the experimental data, a hydrogen purification stage will be simulated.

STUDY OF THE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING OF MACRO-COMPOUNDS WITH THE ADDITION OF PHASE-CHANGE MATERIALS
Principal Investigator: Guillermo Lareo Calviño
Email address: glareo@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
Phase change materials (PCMs) are one of the most widely used options as a passive energy storage method, given their great thermal capacity to absorb-release heat in solid-liquid state changes, and the materials used can do so in applications that allow thermal energy peaks to be absorbed, such as the heating of a battery.
On the other hand, additive manufacturing is revolutionising the field of customised manufacturing. The current manufacturing of PCM in powder or plate form makes heat absorption difficult because of the irregular surfaces or small dimensions of the parts. It is in these scenarios that the need arises to create PCM coatings adapted to the surface to be treated.
Therefore, the combination of additive manufacturing and materials is a perfect solution to this problem, which is the objective of the work, given that there is no established development to date to provide PCM properties to additively manufactured objects.

SIRENA – ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM FOR MARITIME ENVIRONMENT RECOGNITION
Principal Investigator: Miguel Rodelgo Lacruz
Email address: mrodelgo@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
The aim of the project is to develop a technological demonstrator that allows the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques to Maritime Environment Awareness (MEA) in order to improve the operational procedures developed by the Navy from the Maritime Action Operations and Surveillance Centre (COVAM), responsible for the supervision of maritime areas of national interest. Specifically, the demonstrator will receive the AIS (Automatic Identification System) data stream containing real-time ship and positioning information, and will use data analysis and artificial intelligence techniques to detect scenarios and anomalies of interest defined by the COVAM. Due to the high rate of messages transmitted, it is necessary to analyse and select Big Data technologies for the storage and processing of information in real time and the research and development of Data Analytics and Machine Learning techniques to process and extract knowledge from the large volume of data involved.

DEVELOPMENT OF A DEMONSTRATOR FOR UNDERWATER ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATIONS IN ULF USING WS PROTOCOLS
Principal Investigator: José María Núñez Ortuño
Email address: jnunez@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
In ultra-low frequency (ULF) underwater acoustic communications, the attenuation of the marine environment is low, so there is great potential for very long distance contacts. However, the use of ULF carriers leads to very narrow bandwidths and therefore a very low transfer rate. On the other hand, the heterogeneity of the underwater environment over long distances means that the received signal suffers from fading and has a low signal-to-noise ratio.
In very long distance HF radio communications, digital communications protocols are used, characterised by the use of Weak Signals (WS) in reception, but robust against channel fading.
Given the analogy between the radio channel for ionospheric communications and the underwater channel, this project aims to investigate the application of WS protocols in underwater acoustic communications.
It is proposed to develop a demonstrator to study the performance of WS protocols.
As an example of application, long-distance data communication using simple messages and voice communication using a low-speed speech-to-text-to-data-to-text-to-voice conversion technique will be tested.

PROCESSING AUDIO AND NATURAL LANGUAGE FOR NAVAL COMMUNICATIONS TASKS (PANNACOTA)
Principal Investigator: Milagros Fernández Gavilanes
Email address: mfgavilanes@cud.uvigo.es
SUMMARY
The oceans are an important means of communication and transport. Global maritime traffic density has experienced substantial growth in recent years. This growth has led to an increase in VHF band radio communications. Considering that the number of simultaneous voice communications that can be handled by a human operator is limited, monitoring these exchanges would require more personnel than is available for the task.
The PANNACOTA project aims to obtain a system to support the monitoring of radio conversations in the VHF band with the capacity to automatically detect those voice communications of relevance. These selected conversations will be analysed using artificial intelligence techniques, specifically natural language processing, with the aim of extracting information that could be of potential interest to operators involved in surveillance tasks.

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