Past Projects

2011-2012


The design project set out for the initial 2.013-2.014 class was to increase the range of a REMUS 600 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) from three to 30 days. The design for 2.013 created a hybrid internal combustion engine/ battery powered system to allow for these parameters. In order to allow this to function while at sea, several challenges needed to be addressed. These included ensuring that the engine had access to air without the risk of water getting in, ensuring that neutral buoyancy was maintained at all times, minimizing vibrations caused by the engine while running to avoid destroying extremely expensive and delicate electronics and sensors, creating autonomous control, wiring and connecting all the components, and shoving the entire system in a 11.5 inch diameter 300 pound aluminum tube.

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The students of 2.013 came up with many creative solutions to these problems, which included a snorkel with an elaborate system of valves, baffles and plenums to ensure that all the parts requiring water for operation (such as the fuel tanks to maintain constant buoyancy and the engine for water cooling) or air (oxygen for the engine and air to maintain constant buoyancy in the fuel tanks) had those supplied while ensuring that the rest of the system stayed dry. The fuel tanks were composed of a rigid shell, with bladders inside for fuel and water. As the fuel was used, air and water replaced it to maintain constant mass and volume. The engine was mounted on soft bearings which dramatically reduced the vibration on the rest of the system. A power supply was built, and many lines of code written, and the entire assembly was mounted on a rail system which then went into the tube.


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