Unmanned autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have considerable promise as major new tool for gathering science data in the deep ocean. However, developments are needed in a number of key technologies before reliable and cost effective vehicles can be realised. The project concentrates on three generic areas fundamental to AUV design:
1) application of light composite materials so as to achieve efficient structural design: application of carbon filament wound composite materials to the specific problem of pressure housing design for the deep ocean;
2) self-navigation at depth: two techniques will be considered, firstly a bottom referenced acoustic correlation log in which signals backscattered from the sea bottom on successively transmitted pulses are received by a spatial array of transducers and are cross correlated so as to determine the distance moved by the vehicle during the interpulse period and secondly a method in which a vehicle can determine its position by receiving signals from two or more sound sources moored either in the SOFAR channel or in the surface duct;
3) vehicle architecture and control.
The work will take into account the interrelationship between developments in these areas. Guidance will be provided by initial analyses of possible science missions relating to near bottom survey.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
KY11 5PW Dunfermline
83507 La Seyne-sur-mer
L69 3BX Liverpool