Laboratório de Sistemas e Tecnologia Subaquática – Universidade do Porto
neptus     NEPTUS Command and control software

The Command and Control (C2) software used in the URready4OS system is NEPTUS, a software written in Java that currently runs in Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems was developed and is used to command and monitor all vehicles at LSTS. Together with the Inter-Module Communication (IMC) and the Uniformed Navigational Environment (DUNE) is part of the LSTS Toolchain for Autonomous Vehicles (http://www.lsts.pt/toolchain).

NEPTUS is a framework created from scratch having in mind its adaptability and flexibility to encompass needs from diverse vehicles, scenarios and operator experiences. As a result, it provides the rapid creation of derived tools and can be customized according to operator and mission needs. IMC is the main communication protocol for NEPTUS, making it interoperable with any other IMC-based peer. IMC is a message-based protocol that defines a set of messages allowing the inter-communication of autonomous vehicles and the command and control interfaces. It is used to command a very heterogeneous kind of autonomous vehicles and sensors. Despite the heterogeneity of the controlled vehicles, NEPTUS provides a coherent visual interface to command all these assets.

 

NEptus2

This C2 software framework can be extended through a plugin infrastructure. A plugin can be developed independently of the main NEPTUS source and added as a compiled jar file. Thus, it can be extended by a third party with new components without the need of sharing source code among developers. Improvements for its use in the URready4OS project consisted in developing new plugins and building new visualization capabilities.

NEPTUS also has a data review tool, the Mission Review and Analysis (MRA) that allows the revision off all data collected by the vehicle. It is also extensible by plugins for dedicated visualizations or exporting.

As mentioned above, NEPTUS natively is able to command and monitor vehicles talking IMC messages. Custom plugins can be built for other systems to accommodate the custom command languages as made for IVER2, SPARUS and LAUV AUV within this project.

You can download from these links the URready4OS compiled version of NEPTUS for Linux and Windows. NEPTUS manual and detailed capabilities can be found at http://whale.fe.up.pt/neptus/manual/trunk/index.html