Design Development and Control of a Compact Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

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Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) are robotic devices used for various underwater applications. UUVs have gained popularity in scientific community because of their potential applications ranging from military and research establishments to marine industries. Most of these devices are expensive, bulky and developed for deep ocean applications. To extend the benefits of this technology to small-scale industries and general public, affordable compact AUVs are need of the hour. Here the design and development of an affordable compact underwater robot is presented. After identifying the design requirements, the robot model is designed using 3D modeling software ``SOLIDWORKS". Matlab optimization toolbox is used for the estimation of optimal position of internal components. Shape optimization with Ansys Fluent is carried out for drag coefficient minimization. The designed model has been analyzed using Finite Element Analysis to ensure its structural integrity in the underwater environment. Here stress analysis is used to show that the UUV with glass fiber composite body can withstand the underwater pressure at 100m depth with 1.8 factor of safety. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study is used to estimate the drag and lift coefficients, and the maximum velocity of the robot. The validated design is used to manufacture the UUV body using glass fiber composite. The developed robot is neutrally buoyant and has a three-part modular structure. This robot has 4 Degrees of Freedom (DOF) and uses three thrusters for propulsion. It has a closed-frame watertight enclosure, which houses different essential components such as battery, depth and temperature sensors, camera, Raspberry pi computer, Pixhawk controller and thrusters. During operation, the robot is connected to the computer on the ground using tethered connect for transmission of live underwater footage, sensor data, and control signal. Detailed cost analysis of the developed robot is also presented. The robot was successfully tested in a swimming pool, nearby river, and lakes, and the results are discussed.
Supervisors: Dwivedy, Santosha K and Robi, P S
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Inertial Navigation, Kalman Filter, Dynamic Model, FUZZY-PID Controller, Neuro-FUZZY Controller, Guidance System, Line-Of-Sight(LOS)