WP2: Unmanned Stationary Platform Development, Dr. Mangal Kothari

Figure : Solid Model of the Composite Platform for the NSVS

Work Package Type: Product Development/Customization

Faculty Involved: Dr. Bishakh Bhattacharya and Dr. Mangal Kothari (lIT Kanpur, ME and AE)

Objective: Design and Development of an Autonomous Stationary Platform for the River Health Monitoring Sensing System.

Research Outline :- 

  1.  The aim of this work-package is to develop autonomous river surveillance and monitoring platform for local water quality monitoring and measurement of flow parameters.
  2.  The primary goal is to design an all-weather vehicle that can be robustly stabilized and maneuvered in heavy currents so that the system can be used effectively to carry out important missions such as water quality measurements .
  3.  The design problem will be challenging because of uncertainty in the operating conditions, for example the varying flow speed with time and varying cross currents.
  4. The outcome of this research work will be a state-of-the-art floating robotic platform capable of working robustly in uncertain flowing water conditions. It will be deployed for a variety of purposes including river profile generation, river channel barometric surveys and object identification systems.
  5. The platform can further be extended with suitable on board sensors and equipment to other related areas of research and operations such as aquatic biodiversity, river health monitoring, rescue operations, local water quality monitoring, etc.

The work is further subdivided into six sub-work groups: Sub-work packages:
WP -21: Dynamic Model Development (Passive Body Floating in a Stream)

In this part, we will develop dynamic rigid body models of a partially submerged unmanned platform.
The challenges will be:

  1. Idea Generation and initiation of a conceptual model.
  2. Analyses of various forces that will be working on the system.
  3. Development of Governing Equations of Motion of the System.
  4. System Simulation using Adams.
  5. Model Validation and Finalization of the Conceptual Model.

WP-22: Structural Design (FE Analysis and Design)
In this phase, we will carry out the embodiment design. The complete platform will be subdivided into mechanical components. With the help of FE Software like ANSYS/ABAQUS, we will carry out detailed stress analysis of each of the structural members. Considering, weight penalty and corrosion due to moisture and chemicals, along with the mechanical forces, suitable materials will be selected for each the sub-element and their corresponding factor of safety will be estimated.

WP-23: Model Design, Stability and Control (Heave, Pitch and Roll)

In this phase, we develop a model of a surface vehicle. It will be studied how the stability and control will be provided. The vehicle will be integrated with IMU and GPS sensor for inertial navigation. It may require navigating at particular location to collect sample. The navigation capability will be also incorporated. Apart from this, a rotary wing type aerial platform will be developed. The platform will either serve in air monitoring or assist the underwater vehicle for control and communication.

WP-24: Design and Development of Propulsion Control (for Limited Motion) and Anchoring

In this phase, we will design optimal propulsion unit. For this purpose, a Hybrid Blade Element Moment theory will be used. The outcome will be help in design rotor/blades. Moreover, it will also study how the vehicle can be anchored when it is not in use. This is required to save active power.

WP-25: Prototype Fabrication

In this phase, we will initiate the production process. Suitable Vendor will be selected and the Design will be implemented under the guidance of the project investigators. We visualize at least three prototype developments:

  1. In the first stage, we will use additive manufacturing to quickly build a scaled prototype model.
  2. In the second stage, we will develop a low fidelity full scale model and test it under various conditions.
  3. In the final stage, we will fabricate a high fidelity prototype using high precision machining.

WP-26: Platform Integration

In this phase, a complete aerial and surface vehicle will be developed for water and air quality monitoring. The vehicle will be able to carry payload and navigate safely in the river/air.


The final deliverable of the system is a prototype of stable unmanned platform that can house all the sensing and communication systems and possesses a limited propulsion capability.

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