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A Hybrid Class Underwater Vehicle: Bioinspired Propulsion, Embedded System, and Acoustic Communication and Localization System

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Abstract

Inspired by the natural locomotion of jellyfish and squid, a series of compact thrusters series is developed for propulsion and maneuvering of underwater vehicles. These thrusters successively ingest and expel jets of water in a controlled manner at high frequencies to generate propulsive forces. The parameters controlling the performance of the thrusters are reviewed and investigated to achieve higher thrust levels. The thrusters are compact and can be placed completely inside a vehicle hull providing the desired maneuvering capability without sacrificing a sleek hydrodynamic shape for efficient cruising. The system design of a prototype hybrid vehicle, called CephaloBot, utilizing these thrusters, is also presented. A compact and custom-developed embedded system is also designed for the CephaloBot. Key features of the system include a base set of navigational sensors, an acoustic system for localization and underwater communication, Xbee RF transceiver for communication above water, and a LabVIEW programmed processing board.
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Keywords: AUV; bioinspired; communication; thruster

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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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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