Easter Pool Test and Unveiling of Beluga Mk2

Silje Greidung Head of Marketing

(Member since 2021)


Long time no sea! Or, well, Beluga has actually spent two weeks in the pool at the MC-lab this Easter. A lot has happened since our last blog post - the next year's board of the organization was elected at our election meeting, and we had our unveiling arrangement for Beluga Mk2!


On Monday 10th of April, all necessary equipment was moved from the office to Tyholt for the pool tests - which of course included our entire kiosk! Red bull and chili nuts has therefore been a common sight at the MC-lab these two weeks. With music and the Namib Desert live stream, in addition to access to snacks the kiosk, there has been a very good atmosphere in the lab!


At the pool test, the Autonomous group has been testing the Finite State Machine, done some tuning of the Extended Kalman Filter and the Virtual Track Following, and written code for one of the tasks in RoboSub - the AUV shall pass a gate on a selected side, and the drone should stay at that side of the pool for the rest of the competition. The group has also worked with the Thruster Allocation Matrix, which relates power vectors to the thrusters.

Autonomous ready to test Beluga in the pool.

The Autonomous group's two weeks of testing were completed with the pre-qualifier for RoboSub 2022. The task here was to autonomously pass the gate, rotate around a pole, and return through the gate. This can be seen in the video further down!


The Perception group has tested life performance of the Autonomous and Perception stacks. To fix the high processing demands of computer vision algorithms, they separated using two processing devices and started utilizing GPU processing on a much higher level. They also implemented a path following solution using the downwards facing camera. They have done some testing, for example of the Feature Detection. This detects unique points which will be used to know how the drone moves in relation to these points, and where the drone is located.


Back at the office, Hardware have been working night and day to get Beluga Mk2 ready for the unveiling on 29th of April. The last parts of the shell was installed, stickers of sponsor logos placed and the drone cleaned, before it was moved to R7 where the arrangement took place.

Børge (Project Manager) welcoming the audience.

Our Project Manager, Børge, started off with a speech to welcome everybody and present our organization and projects. Our main sponsor, Kongsberg Maritime, also held a speech. They emphasized how close our project is to what they are doing with their AUV, Hugin. Except that we're working in quite different size orders and depth of course - their AUV weigh several hundred kilograms and can move down to many thousand meters depth. Despite these differences, it is exciting to see that we are working on many of the same problems as they meet in the industry.

All the technical leaders also presented their work. It's really impressive to hear about all the challenges and technical solutions the members come up with!


Here is a short video from our pool test, which was shown leading up to the unveiling of Beluga Mk2.

And finally, the drone was unveiled, after two years of development. Here is Team 2022 cheering after seeing the result of countless hours at the Vortex office the last two semesters!

Team 2022 with Beluga.

In the evening we celebrated - a postponed Christmas party was a nice ending of the big day!


In the time forward, we will have to shift our focus to exams and Bachelor's/Master's theses, as these are getting closer for each day - before the Summer break suddenly arrives, and the last preparations for the competitions will happen.