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An Approach to Tagging Objects of Interest in Oceanic Environments Through the Use of an AUV

[+] Author Affiliations
Benjamin Waltuch, Elizabeth Astle, Eric Mirante, Brent Cornwall, James McCusker, Gloria Ma

Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA

Paper No. IMECE2017-71806, pp. V04AT05A022; 5 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4A: Dynamics, Vibration, and Control
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5837-0
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


In the field of underwater robotics, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) have made many advancements in operating depth, mission endurance, and acoustic range making them the ideal vehicle for surveying and searching for any Object of Interest (OOI) over large areas of water. The downside to this technology is that the operator must wait for the vehicle’s mission to end to determine whether an OOI has been identified. Additionally, if an OOI is identified this object will need to be found again. The solution to this lengthy process is to equip the AUV with a suite of Underwater Locator Beacons (ULB) which can be deployed and anchored next to any positively identified OOI. This way, the operator can be actively listening for the pinging frequency of a deployed ULB where then a secondary Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) can be launched to retrieve or further investigate the OOI while the AUV continues its search and tag. This paper presents the design and test of a ULB deployment system that would be implemented into an AUV. An AUV is sensitive to changes in weight, therefore this novel design leverages the concepts of Archimedes Principle by preserving neutral buoyancy pre- and post-deployment of the ULB. Upon deployment, the ULB will be capable of securely anchoring itself in a wide range of seabed environments. To test the design described above, a custom ROV has been fabricated with the sole purpose of transporting the ULB deployment system to operating depth. The paper describes in detail both the test results from the ULB deployment system and a design for implementation into an AUV.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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