AUVA operates a fleet of three SAUV's.
The SAUV II is a solar-powered autonomous vehicle capable of operating on the surface or at water depths up to 500 meters. The vehicle is equipped with rechargeable lithium ion batteries to allow maximum mission endurance even under conditions where minimal solar radiation is available. A single-vectored thruster provides three-dimensional position and altitude control without the need for additional thrusters or active movable surfaces. The efficient propulsion system/controller allows throughwater speeds up to two knots. Surface speed depends on ambient sea conditions.
The SAUV II comes with an acoustic altimeter and pressure sensor for depth and height off bottom control. GPS is provided for control of position while on the surface. Underwater position is maintained by dead reckoning or with use of custom-supplied gyro or Doppler instrumentation.
Bi-directional vehicle program control and real-time data acquisition are accomplished through integrated RF communication or via optional satellite link or acoustic modems. In operation, an easy-to-use intuitive Windows®-based operator interface allows mission program downloading prior to deployment and data uploading following vehicle recovery at the end of mission. These functions can also be accomplished in real-time during the mission via the bi-directional communications system.
The SAUV II system functional capabilities include:
• Operate autonomously at sea for extended periods of time from weeks to months. Typical missions require operation at night and solar energy charging of batteries during daytime.
• Communicate with a remote operator on a daily basis via Satellite phone, RF radio, or acoustic telemetry.
• Recharge batteries daily using solar panels to convert solar energy to electrical energy.
• Operate at depths to 500 meters.
• Operate at speeds up to about 3 knots.
• Battery system provides a total capacity of about 2.4 KWhrs.
• Acoustic altimeter capable of 100 meter altitude tracking and depth sensor to 500 meters.
• Capability to acquire GPS updates when on the ocean surface. Capability to compute SAUV position at all times using GPS when on surface and dead reckoning when submerged.
• Capability to maintain fixed depth and fixed altitude and to smoothly vary depth or altitude profile.
• Capability of navigating between waypoints (latitude and longitude).
• Capability to log and upload all sensor data correlated in time and SAUV geodetic position.
• Provide sufficient volume, power, interfaces, and software hooks for end user payload sensors.
• Allow user to program missions easily using a Laptop PC. Allow user to checkout basic operation of SAUV system in the lab or aboard ship using the Laptop PC.
• Provide for graphical display of mission and payload sensor data on Laptop PC.