THE DUCKLING PROJECT : Design and manufacturing of autonomous surface vehicles for various application areas
Abstract: In the times of big data analyses and fast robotic evolution, collecting data is an important part of science. Today we have only explored 5 percent of the ocean, which is less than we have explored Mars. To collect more data of the ocean we need tools, vehicles and equipment, which are designed and used by scientists. In this technical report, the design of an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) is described. An ASV is a floating vehicle that can conduct manoeuvres and actions autonomously. The ocean environment is in many senses difficult for technically operated vehicles, with the main reasons being high pressure, no possibility of radio communication and of course water, which always is a challenge when combined with water. The concept of this work is to provide a system which consists of four equal ASV units, who can perform different operations. The system should be capable of conducting different kinds of experiments with varying testing equipment. Two ideas have been considered: autonomous depth mapping of inshore areas and locating and following an acoustic source. These two possible scopes are used to find fitting and flexible requirements for the ASV. In the future, the four units should be used by different projects realised by students and researchers, therefore robustness in operation and usability are a main point of focus when determining the requirements.
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