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Title: Autonomous underwater vehicle design considering energy source selection and hydrodynamics
Author: Rutherford, Kieran Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 8436
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is an unmanned submersible that carries out specific scientific, commercial or military missions without an umbilical connection to the surface. Fulfilment of its mission depends upon a clear appreciation of required payload, endurance, depth and speed. AUVs are a continually developing technology. Many reviewed AUVs are of a similar shape and draw heavily on previous designs. The development of formal design methodology should encourage AUV development through increased understanding of the key decisions and the compromises necessary to meet AUV requirements. One area of improvement is AUV endurance. AUV endurance is determined by the onboard energy capacity, the power required by operating subsystems and propulsion power to overcome hydrodynamic resistance. Greater endurance can be achieved by increasing the amount of energy stored or by decreasing the power draw. Presented physical measurements confirm that a lithium polymer battery type is pressure tolerant. Utilisation of such batteries can reduce the required volume and mass of the AUV pressure vessel and for deep diving AUVs permit an increased energy source within the AUV. As a consequence of this research Autosub 6000 has incorporated pressure tolerant lithium polymer cells and can operate at greater depths than Autosub 3. Computational investigations of AUV hull shapes allows simple truncated Taylor series based relationships to be developed linking drag force and hull shape geometric parameters. The empirical equations have been incorporated within the presented design method. Hence propUlsion power of a candidate hull shape can be quickly estimated and compared against available AUV energy capacity. The presented structured AUV design method encourages innovation by starting with a design procedure focused on fulfilling the mission specifications. The design method can explore such options as reducing pressure vessel volume, and create a hull shape based upon practical arrangements of the internal subsystems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available