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Moball-buoy Surveillance Network: A Monitoring and Communication Network of Wind-opportunistic Spherical Robot-buoys for the Arctic

By Faranak Davoodi, Cedric Cocaud

Addressing the increasing importance of having an Arctic-wide monitoring system to protect national interests on a strategic and economic level, we propose a game-changing Distributed Mobile Monitoring system that would unlock unprecedented detection and tracking capabilities targeting surface, maritime, underwater and airborne human activities. The Moball buoy Network is a wind-opportunistic, long-lived, scalable, self-energy-generating and autonomous distributed system performing in-situ detection, monitoring and tracking of a wide range of targets and environmental phenomena for region-wide Arctic areas (on the order of millions of square kilometers). The Moball Buoy Network is an Arctic-compatible monitoring system and exploits the natural characteristics of its environment. It consists of a number of controllable wind-opportunistic self-powered rigidized spherical robot-buoys called Moball buoys, equipped with an array of passive and active low-power sensors and detectors including radar, optical and infra-red cameras, acoustic sensors and sniffers. Moballs use their novel dual-functioning hexa-axle magnetic weight control and energy harvesting system to take advantage of the wind for mobility and power generation. The Moballs peer-to-peer communication system and their communication capabilities with ground assets, Arctic missioned ships, and satellites form a wireless mesh network that provides an interface for a global controller that will ensure arctic-wide coverage, optimize Moball monitoring efforts according to their available resources, and the priority of local areas of high strategic value within the Arctic region. The self-powered, learning and collaborative distributed control system of the Moballs will ensure persistent and reliable near-real time monitoring and communication in the Arctic, spanning over months or years. The system is expected to give our nation the first region-wide monitoring system capable of securing our interest within the greater Arctic region.