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This repository contains ROS nodes and messages necessary to simulate a turbulent plume, which is an implementation of the algorithm described in [1]. This repository is complementary to the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Simulator (UUV Simulator), an open-source project extending the simulation capabilities of the robotics simulator Gazebo to underwater vehicles and environments. For installation and usage instructions, please refer to the documentation pages.

Visualization in RViz

[1] Yu Tian and Aiqun Zhang, "Simulation environment and guidance system for AUV tracing chemical plume in 3-dimensions," 2010 2nd International Asia Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (CAR 2010), Mar. 2010.

Purpose of the project

This software is a research prototype, originally developed for the EU ECSEL Project 662107 SWARMs.

The software is not ready for production use. However, the license conditions of the applicable Open Source licenses allow you to adapt the software to your needs. Before using it in a safety relevant setting, make sure that the software fulfills your requirements and adjust it according to any applicable safety standards (e.g. ISO 26262).


To simulate the plume, please refer to the UUV Simulator repository and follow the installation instructions of the package. Then you can clone this package in the src folder of you catkin workspace

cd ~/catkin_ws/src
git clone

and then build your catkin workspace

cd ~/catkin_ws
catkin_make # or <catkin build>, if you are using catkin_tools
Example of usage

The plume simulator package are installed, one demonstration can be run to visualize the plume particles in RViz. To start it, run

roslaunch uuv_plume_simulator start_plume_example.launch

To start an example of a turbulent plume model, run the script

roslaunch uuv_plume_simulator start_demo_turbulent_plume.launch

In this case, the plume runs independently from the UUV Simulator. In order to start this example using one of the Gazebo worlds from UUV Simulator and therefore use the current velocity topic generated by a Gazebo plugin, start the example first as

roslaunch uuv_plume_simulator start_plume_example.launch use_gazebo:=true

and then

roslaunch uuv_plume_simulator start_demo_turbulent_plume.launch use_gazebo:=true

If no current topic is available, the particles will accumulate around the plume source.

To add a particle concentration sensor to the vehicle, check the URDF macro snippets found here that can be used to add one to the robot description.


uuv_plume_simulator is open-sourced under the Apache-2.0 license. See the LICENSE file for details.