Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute

AUSI participation


D. Richard BlidbergDirector
Steven ChappellSoftware Systems Engineer
Regan GentnerOffice Manager
George Howard Burrows  Senior Researcher
Arthur C. Sanderson  Visiting Research Scholar
Robert H. WelshAdjunct Senior Researcher

Dick received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 1972. He co-founded the Marine Systems Engineering Laboratory (MSEL) at UNH in 1976. In 1993 the laboratory moved from UNH to Northeastern University where he served as Director of MSEL. He is currently the Director of the Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute (AUSI) in Lee, NH, which he founded in 1993.

Prior to MSEL, he managed the Seabed Survey operations at Ocean Research Equipment Inc., Falmouth MA; served with the United States Coast Guard, and worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He has written several papers and reports on unmanned untethered submersible technology, as well as organized fifteen international symposia on AUV technology. He has over 60 publications related to AUV technology and served on several science and engineering committees, consulted for a number of companies, and been involved in several international collaborations. He is currently the associate editor for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering for underwater vehicle systems.

His present interests are focused on the development of technologies related to autonomous submersible vehicles and include the investigation of architectures for intelligent guidance and control of multiple autonomous vehicles, applied acoustic navigation, underwater robotics, and biologically-based solutions to vehicle system design.

Steve earned his B.S. degree in Botany at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Durham in 1978. He earned a M.S. in Computer Science at UNH in 1987. His thesis was to design and implement a prototype mission planner for an autonomous vehicle based on a dual blackboard architecture.

Since joining MSEL (now AUSI) in 1981, he has been designing, implementing, and maintaining software for AUSI's experimental autonomous vehicles which serve as operational test beds for AUV research and development. During that time, he has been the design and implementation lead for two vehicle software architectures which have seen many hours of field use.

He is currently designing and implementing the Solar AUV top level architecture. His interests include autonomous systems, behavior based techniques, artificial intelligence programming techniques applied to real world problems, systems programming, distributed systems, evolutionary computation, and complexity. He has authored eight papers and co-authored 25 papers which have been published in conference proceedings, journals, and trade magazines.

Regan received her B.A in psychology from North Adams State College, North Adams, MA in 1995. She is currently the Office Manager for AUSI where she is responsible for the day to day administrative operations and management of the institute.

Howard brings expertise in remote sensing, online communications, and digital libraries. He returns to AUSI from Raytheon where he worked with teams from IBM and Johns Hopkins to apply NASA remote sensing data to agriculture and public health.

His research concerns mechanisms for coordinated activity, which he has pursued from the cellular level (synapse formation) to the corporate level (bank mergers and interdisciplinary science libraries). Howard will apply artificial, natural, and social intelligence to interpret results from remote sensing of Earth, space, and brain systems.

Arthur C. Sanderson
Arthur C. Sanderson
Visiting Research Scholar
Dr. Sanderson received his B.S. degree from Brown University, Providence, RI, in 1968, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1970 and 1972, respectively. He held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon University from 1973 to 1987, where he was Co-Director of the Robotics Institute. He has held visiting positions at Delft University of Technology, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico, and Philips Laboratories, Briarcliff Manor, NY. In 1987, he joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as Professor and served as Department Head of the Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering Department from 1987 to 1994. In January, 2000, Dr. Sanderson was appointed the Vice President for Research of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Sanderson is the author of over 250 publications and proceedings in the areas of biomedical signal processing, robotics and automation systems, sensor-based control, computer vision, and applications of knowledge-based systems. He has published four books and is a Fellow of the IEEE and AAAS.

Robert H. Welsh
Robert H. Welsh
Adjunct Senior Researcher
Bob is currently the Director of Networking and Communications at Textron Systems, supporting many of their networked sensor programs and new technology ventures. Graduating from MIT in 1980. Bob worked in hardware design until 1988 including development work on the EAVE Vehicle at the Marine Systems Engineering Lab at the University of New Hampshire. He then worked for 8 years on the Navy FDS program, before becoming involved in Army networking and communications programs, including Lead Engineer on the Near Term Digital Radio (NTDR) program, the DARPA Small Unit Operations (SUO) program and architect on the Submersible Acoustic Mobile Networking (SAMN) program. Following a brief commercial venture in 3G mobile systems with Ericsson Inc, Bob was the Modeling and Simulation lead for General Dynamics C4Systems, focusing on network simulation for the WIN-T Program.