Optimal Onboard Renewable Energy Charging Method to Improve Micro-Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Deployment Life
Byford, Brooklynn Dawn
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This study is an investigation of various methods for recharging a micro autonomous underwater vehicle (μAUV) onboard using renewable energy sources while deployed at sea. The goal of this project is to determine the optimal onboard renewable energy design method to be used to prolong the deployment life of a μAUV. This project specifically targeted vehicles specifications and designs similar to the Riptide Autonomous Solutions’ μAUV, which was used for this study. Concluding results are based on the following factors: power generation versus time, structural integrity, and design complexity. The three design method categories investigated are as follows: solar energy, wind energy, wave energy. In the world of underwater exploration, the AUV is at the forefront of the exploration technology. AUV’s have a multitude of capabilities and are used for a wide range of missions: scientific, educational, military. While these vehicles are modular and range in operation time, the need to retrieve these vehicles to charge batteries is a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Efforts have been made to prolong a vehicle’s deployment life through various methods, which are discussed. Renewable energy charging methods of solar, wind, and wave were investigated and it was found that generating energy through capturing and converting wave energy is the most optimal design method to be incorporated onboard a micro-autonomous underwater vehicle.