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A Proof of Concept Demonstration of an AUV Biological Pump Sampler

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Scientists have been using pump systems to sample biological, chemical, and geological matter for years, but many of these systems are intended for fixed mooring use or remotely operated vehicle (ROV) deployment and do not meet the often strict size and weight requirements of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Because the current technology of AUVs does not allow for the traditional methods of sampling used on ROVs and human occupied vehicles (HOVs), we look to an integrated pump and sampling system to gather a genomic overview of an area. An AUV biological pump sampler would allow scientists to explore unknown territories with little to no a priori knowledge, allowing scientists a new degree of freedom and opening the possibility of adaptive sampling capabilities as part of a suite of in situ vehicle sensors. We design and test a compact pump mechanism for collecting biological samples on a spooling filter system. We have collected and confirmed seawater samples using our demonstration prototype, demonstrating viable potential for biological AUV sampling capabilities in uncharacterized environments.
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Keywords: Autonomous underwater vehicles; Biological sampling; Pump design

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2010

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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