Today the weather was kind to us, windy but sunny. Some fearless students even went for a swim.
Focus 1 : Brave, the autonomous sailboat
The autonomous sailing boat named Brave was first designed by the IFREMER and built by ENSTA Bretagne to to compete in the World Robotics Sailing Championship (WRSC). This world champion autonomous sailboat is able to navigate thanks to a GPS and can change sail orientation by measuring and adapting to wind direction. Today third year students sailed it from one buoy to another using only camera detection. Tomorrow, they will test software to analyze images of buoys and will look for a way to detect them automatically while sailing.
Focus 2 : Can whales detect fishnets?
Some whales eat fish trapped in fishnets. To meet their quotas, fishermen end up casting more fishnets, which disturbs sea life.
Third years students are trying to understand how whales detect the presence of fishnets. To do so they immerse 4 hydrophones into the water to simulate the ears of whales.
With boats, they made noises at the surface by moving in the exact same way as fishing boats when they deploy fishnets. They managed to record the sounds of manoeuvres with different boats. Their next move is now to try and analyze and sort the recorded sounds using specific algorithms. This should help them determine whether whales can, just by hearing noises, detect the presence of fishing boats and fishnets.