Exocetus Coastal Glider
What sets the Coastal Glider aside from other vehicles are two key points: one, its ability to operate in changing salinity conditions common along the coast; and two, the open approach Exocetus takes towards their vehicle. "We encourage people to modify the vehicle however they need. We'll help them with it, but they can do it on their own," continued Turner. "This is important for researchers who may find better instruments, or may change the direction of their research."
The Exocetus Coastal Glider Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) utilizes a buoyancy engine to achieve forward motion. There are no external moving parts or propeller. The vehicle glides forward in a saw tooth manner by descending and ascending with changes in buoyancy.
The vehicle was developed over a 6-year period through a contract from the Office of Naval Research. Its design is the result of extensive hydrodynamic and maneuvering modeling. Eighteen gliders were delivered to the US NAVY, and the glider fleet has thousands of hours of operation.
Designed for Coastal Waters - The vehicle features a buoyancy engine which automatically compensates for variations in water density. Water density varies coastal waters due to fresh water rivers and tidal action. Conventional gliders must be manually calibrated in advance for changes in water density, and thus do not operate well in coastal waters. The large buoyancy engine also enables operation in relatively high coastal currents, up to 2 kts.
Modular sensor design – The Coastal Glider sensor interface readily accommodates a variety of sensors. The modular design includes a watertight, universal sensor bay with power for sensor electronics, a bus connection to the vehicle’s computer to record data, changeable bulk head connectors for sensor cables and a hull that accommodates sensors with minimal changes or no changes to the glider housing.
Large Payload – The 5 kg (11 lbs) payload is exceptional for a glider of this size, allowing integration of any number of sensors. Payload can be further increased by adding by syntactic foam in flooded areas fore and/or aft.
Emergency recovery system – A lift bag automatically inflates if battery power is depleted or if a leak is detected, causing the vehicle to surface for recovery. The system utilizes an independent power supply for added redundancy.