A Vectored Buoyancy Controlled System
Setting the buoyancy of WARPAUV is a critical pre-mission task that greatly affects vehicle dynamics and energy consumption. Since the WARPLab is often changing the sensors deployed on WARPAUV, this changes the buoyancy of the vehicle. The process involves attaching passive elements like foam or weights in locations that not only affect the buoyancy but also minimize roll and pitch. Additionally, the thrusters are used to set zero pitch and roll as well as depth but if the buoyancy is inaccurate this leads to the thrusters running at all times, wasting energy . Saving energy will allow the WARPLab to deploy for longer periods of time. The WARPLab researchers would like a Vectored Buoyancy Control System that will be able to automatically set the buoyancy of the robot to a user-specified requirement (eg. 1% positively buoyant) and have zero roll and pitch. This will allow the WARPLab and their partnering marine biologists to reduce their time-to-deployment, increase their mission time, and dynamically change the sensors on the vehicle. While there are costs for the additional components, the reduced time-to-deployment, and the energy savings will allow the WARPLab to deploy more frequently and for longer periods of time.
Kevin Macauley – leader
Preston Shields – communicator
Kendall VandenLangenberg – accountant
JJ Schickert – admin
Yogi Girdhar, WARPlab researcher