Design of Nose-cone for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Abstract: The goal was to perform a feasibility study on an additive manufactured thermoplastic nose-cone hull design for an autonomous underwater vehicle SAM. Where feasibility includes the technical, economic and sustainable aspect in the analysis. The additive manufacturing process enables customization, modularity, design freedom, structure optimization, cost efficient low volume and tool less manufacturing for the AUV nose-cone design. A nose-cone design was developed by following a product development process, including the steps identify user and technical needs, establish target specifications, concept generation and thereafter testing and evaluation of concepts. The target specifications were based on the user and technical needs found during interviews and product observations. Throughout the process sketches, CAD models and prototypes were created, certain models were thereafter tested by simulations and calculations. Lastly an economic analysis and a benchmark of commercial AUVs on the market were performed. The result was a nose-cone body design with a sealing and mounting concept solution for each sensor equipment, and a sealing and mounting concept for each hull connection point interface. The sensor equipment includes DVL, multibeam sonars, cameras and sensor in payload bay. Whereas the interfaces include the connection point between SAM and nose-cone, and the two modular nose-cone parts. The final nose-cone concept design provides a water sealed structure, hydrodynamic shape which is optimized for and encloses sensor and communication equipment.
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