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Proceedings Paper

Ultra modular plastic mini AUV platform for VSW mine reconnaissance
Author(s): Samuel M. Smith; David Kronen; Richard Dunn; Jim Whitney; John Frankenfield; Edgar An; Tom Pantelakis; Aaron Burn; Eric Heatzig
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Paper Abstract

The Advanced Marine Systems Lab at FAU has developed a new ultra modular plastic mini AUV for coastal applications including very shallow water MCM. This vehicle is composed of modular injection molded plastic pressure vessels and a cabling system that allows the modules to be rearranged without rewiring bulkheads. The plastic pressure vessels are inexpensive, inherently mass producible, extremely corrosion resistant, and have low magnetic signature. The pressure vessels are small but are sized to fit most standard electronic board standards such as PC104, 3U VME, Compact PCI, STD 32, and even full size PCI. The mini AUV can be anywhere from 4 ft. to 10 ft. in length depending on its mission. A unique feature is the support for hovering capability with optional cross body thruster sections. The vehicle architecture is an adaptation of the Ocean Explorer AUV system and use a LonTalk distributed control network for connecting all sensor and actuator subsystems as smart nodes. The modularity is contained, control, and power makes this vehicle rapidly reconfigurable and easy to repair or upgrade. The small size of this AUV minimize top side support requirements. But because the Mini pressure vessels are still big enough to house most electronics systems almost all the sensor payloads designed for the larger Ocean Explorer AUV can be repacked to fit the Mini. Planned configurations include a rapid environmental assessment and mine reconnaissance package with side scan sonar, video, acoustic modem, Doppler velocity log, altimeter, Doppler current profiler, and CTD. A networkable acoustic modem system has also been developed at FAU and will enable multiple vehicle communications for coordinated multiple vehicle search and survey operations or for remote diver control. 3 AUVs are undergoing development and testing. This paper will present details of the design and construction of the new Mini AUV as well as explores applications to VSM MCM.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 July 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3711, Information Systems for Navy Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions, (23 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354653
Show Author Affiliations
Samuel M. Smith, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
David Kronen, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
Richard Dunn, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
Jim Whitney, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
John Frankenfield, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
Edgar An, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
Tom Pantelakis, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
Aaron Burn, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)
Eric Heatzig, Florida Atlantic Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3711:
Information Systems for Navy Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions
Jody L. Wood-Putnam, Editor(s)

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