Responsive AUV Localization and Mapping

REALM Project Logo

Memorial University is embarking on an exciting new project to develop technologies in the areas of

  • Advanced autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) navigation and performance;
  • Customized harsh environment AUV support technologies;
  • A novel sub-bottom imaging seabed survey capability; and
  • Deep-water AUV seabed survey.

The multiphase project constitutes the Responsive AUV Localization and Mapping or the REALM Project. It is being supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Atlantic Innovation Fund, Research & Development Corporation Newfoundland and Labrador, FugroGeoSurvey’s Inc. and Memorial University of Newfoundland. The REALM Project features several partners for its multi-stream development and capacity building initiatives:

  • FugroGeoSurvey Inc. of St. John’s, NL is partnering with Memorial on a significant investment in multibeamechosounder sonar and side scan sonar technology that results in a capability to use the Explorer AUV for commercial seabed survey. Fugro is also supporting Memorial on some of its customized, harsh environment AUV support technology developments.


  • PanGeoSubsea Inc. of St. John’s, NL is teaming with Memorial to develop its SBI™ technology for AUV operations. This effort requires modification of the SBI sonar technology for housing in the Explorer; modification to the Explorer to accommodate the large SBI sonar’s acoustic array; and improvement to the Explorer’s dynamical behaviours with respect to low velocity, low altitude control and performance. Successful completion of the SBI integration results in a potential new AUV survey offering via PanGeoSubsea and builds significantly on Memorial’s design capability with respect to hull design and vehicle control, stability and performance.


  • International Submarine Engineering Research Ltd. of Port Coquitlam, BC and Defence Research and Development Canada – Atlantic of Halifax, NS are collaborating with Memorial on a joint development of an advanced AUV navigational suite centered around improved navigation performance through the development of automated feature recognition, concurrent mapping and localization, qualitative navigation, and adaptive mission control technologies. This constitutes a ‘smarter’ AUV. These advancements will be commercialized with ISER.

For further information on the REALM Project please contact:

Dr. Andrew Vardy

Principal Investigator

Email: av at mun dot ca

Phone: +1 709-864-4521

Fax: +1 709-864-6193

Ron Lewis

Email: ron at mun dot ca

Phone: +1 709-864-4632/4590

Fax: +1 709-864-6193

Peter King

Email: peter.king at mun dot ca

Phone: +1 709-864-8814

Fax: +1 709-864-6193

Mailing Address

Major Research Partnerships

IIC-1001 Bruneau Centre for Innovation and Research

Memorial University of Newfoundland

St. John's, NL

Canada A1C 5S7



230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000