This page is meant to be a storehouse for publications that reflect activities of interest to AUVAC and its members. If you have publications that should be added to this list please let us know and we will include them.

Underwater Search for Ameila Earhart’s Airplane

July 10, 2013 via – Phoenix international

In early July, on the 75th anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, members of Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. (Phoenix) and a team of experts set sail from Hawaii in support of a search effort led by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). The target of the search was Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E aircraft. After years of research, TIGHAR theorized that the plane went down near the island of Nikumaroro, an atoll roughly 1,900 miles southwest of Hawaii. Phoenix’s role was to search one square mile of the seabed from 50 to 4,000 feet – off the northwest side of the island. In the end, this extensive underwater search provided valuable AUV sonar imagery and ROV high definition video to support further study by TIGHAR and other forensic imaging experts –perhaps yielding more definitive clues as to the whereabouts of this famous plane.


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Glacier expedition a success for NUWC Division Newport and NASAGlacier expedition a success for NUWC Division Newport and NASA

October 1, 2012 via – NUWC Newport

The mission: determining the utility of AUVs for collecting data on the rapidly receding Helheim Glacier.

They needed to determine [1] how an underwater vehicle could reach the glacier, [2] find a sonar system that would work with both glacial and arctic ice, and [3] understand the operational challenges inherent in such an isolated environment. The team also needed to assess operational logistics for future AUV operations through the deployment of glider AUVs for oceanography and an assessment is also needed for a multi-narrow beam sonar for iceberg profiling and for the creation of future obstacle avoidance algorithms.

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An Analysis of Undersea Glider Architectures and an Assessment of Undersea Glider Integration into Undersea Applications

September 30, 2012 via – Naval Postgraduate School

Currently, buoyancy driven underwater gliders are deployed globally to gather oceanographic data from across the world’s oceans. This thesis examines the utility of underwater gliders within the context of providing additional U.S. Navy capabilities. An extensive survey of available underwater gliders was undertaken and the resultant survey pool of ten gliders down selected to five gliders of fixed wing configuration. A comprehensive architectural analysis was then conducted of seven key architectural attributes of the five selected gliders. The architectural analysis compared various implementations of the key architectural attributes relative to desirable traits and capabilities for a notional U.S. Navy glider. Following the architectural analysis a proposed architecture for a U.S. Navy underwater glider was developed which includes a compendium of ‘best’ features gleaned from the architectural analysis. Drivers and rationale for selection of specific key architectural attributes and features are also provided. Additionally, a comparison of constraints and capabilities of underwater gliders is provided. Finally, a comparison of the current and proposed capabilities of underwater gliders versus other Autonomous Undersea Vehicles, specifically Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, is proffered.

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USV Payloads for Single Sortie Detect to Engage (SS-DTE) Mine Counter Measures ONR BAA 12-018

July 27, 2012 via – Office Of Naval Research

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is seeking white papers and full proposals describing innovative technology solutions that will enable the Navy to develop an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)-based system capable of conducting the three phases of mine hunting operations – mine detection/classification, identification, and neutralization – in a single sortie, to potentially be incorporated as part of a future Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) MCM mission package. There are two distinct but strongly connected new technology products described in this BAA that work together to enable effective planning and conduct of USV-based mine countermeasures (MCM) operations in shallow water environments. These two technology products are:

Product Area 1 – The SS-DTE MCM Payload, will contain the components needed for deployment and retrieval of UUVs, as well as the launch of mine neutralizers aboard a USV, a UUV sustainment system, an interface with the LCS communication system, associated autonomy/automation required to accomplish the SS-DTE task, and the software architecture and software planning tools necessary for payload management and coordinated behaviors.

Product Area 2 – The capability for neutralization of near-surface floating and drifting mines. The primary investment will be to develop the technologies to support a UUV-based capability to prosecute near-surface floating and drifting mines; however, the neutralization system must also be capable of prosecuting bottom and volume mines. As appropriate, this development will utilize a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) for all components of this effort. Ongoing assessment during development cycles will determine level(s) of system openness that best facilitate transition. This will allow upgrades and integration of software components with minimal effort as the roles and capabilities of the USV and its assets improve.

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The Role of Autonomy in DoD Systems

July 19, 2012 via – US Department of Defense

The Task Force has concluded that, while currently fielded unmanned systems are making positive contributions across DoD operations, autonomy technology is being underutilized as a result of material obstacles within the Department that are inhibiting the broad acceptance of autonomy and its ability to more fully realize the benefits of unmanned systems.

Key among these obstacles identified by the Task Force are poor design, lack of effective coordination of research and development (R&D) efforts across the Military Services, and operational challenges created by the urgent deployment of unmanned systems to theater without adequate resources or time to refine concepts of operations and training.

To address the issues that are limiting more extensive use of autonomy in DoD systems, the Task Force recommends a crosscutting approach that includes the following key elements:
     • The DoD should embrace a three-facet (cognitive echelon, mission timelines and human-machine system trade spaces) autonomous systems framework to assist program managers in shaping technology programs, as well as to assist acquisition officers and developers in making key decisions related to the design and evaluation of future systems.
     • The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) should work with the Military Services to establish a coordinated science and technology (S&T) program guided by feedback from operational experience and evolving mission requirements.
      • The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)) should create developmental and operational test and evaluation (T&E) techniques that focus on the unique challenges of autonomy (to include developing operational training techniques that explicitly build trust in autonomous
     • The Joint Staff and the Military Services should improve the requirements process to develop a mission capability pull for autonomous systems to identify missed opportunities and desirable future system capabilities.

Overall, the Task Force found that unmanned systems are making a significant, positive impact on DoD objectives worldwide. However, the true value of these systems is not to provide a direct human replacement, but rather to extend and complement human capability by providing potentially unlimited persistent capabilities, reducing human exposure to life threatening tasks, and with proper design, reducing the high cognitive load currently placed on

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Guidance for developing Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) capability

July 9, 2012 via – NATO

  Guidance for Developing Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) Capability

This guidance aims to inform the capability development of Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS), broadening beyond that currently being exploited by UAV into Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) and Underwater Surface Vehicles (USV). It covers likely attributes and tasks for MUS, and discusses some of the challenges in developing this capability.


An MUS is defined as an Unmanned System operating in the maritime environment (subsurface, surface, air) whose primary component is at least one unmanned vehicle. A UUV is defined as a self-propelled submersible whose operation is either fully autonomous (pre-programmed or real-time adaptive mission control) or under minimal supervisory control. They are further sub-divided in 4 vehicles classes (man-portable, Light Weight Vehicle (LWV) Heavy Weight Vehicle (HWV), Large Vehicle Class (LVC).

An USV is defined as a self-propelled surface vehicle whose operation is either fully autonomous (pre-programmed or real-time adaptive mission control) or under minimal supervisory control. They are further sub-divided in 4 vehicles classes (X-Class, Harbour Class, Snorkeler Class, Fleet Class).

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NavSea Warfare Centers: Technical Capabilities Manual

June 1, 2012 via – Naval Sea Systems Command

Executive Summary

This document lists and defines the current Technical Capabilities of the NAVSEA Warfare Centers.

The NAVSEA Warfare Centers (WC) are composed of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) and Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC). Together they cohesively and seamlessly operate the Navy’s full spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, and fleet support centers for offensive and defensive systems associated with surface warfare, undersea warfare and related areas of joint, homeland and national defense systems from the sea.

NUWC has two Divisions with the lead locations in Newport RI and Keyport WA. Keyport Division has a second major site, Naval Sea Logistics Center, in Mechanicsburg, PA. NSWC has 8 Divisions with the lead locations in Carderock MD, Corona CA, Crane IN, Dahlgren VA, Indian Head MD, Panama City FL, Port Hueneme CA and EOD Tech Div in Stump Neck MD. Carderock Division has a second major site, Ship Systems Engineering Station, in Philadelphia, PA, and Dahlgren Division has a second major site, Combat Direction Systems Activity, in Dam Neck, Virginia. To accomplish their mission, the Divisions have specific and unique Technical Capabilities (TCs) which describe the work they perform.

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Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

October 18, 2011 via – InTech

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Edited by: Nuno A. Cruz

ISBN 978-953-307-432-0, Hard cover, 258 pages
Publisher: InTech
Publication date: October 2011
Subject: Ocean Engineering

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are remarkable machines that revolutionized the process of gathering ocean data. Their major breakthroughs resulted from successful developments of complementary technologies to overcome the challenges associated with autonomous operation in harsh environments. Most of these advances aimed at reaching new application scenarios and decreasing the cost of ocean data collection, by reducing ship time and automating the process of data gathering with accurate geo location. With the present capabilities, some novel paradigms are already being employed to further exploit the on board intelligence, by making decisions on line based on real time interpretation of sensor data. This book collects a set of self contained chapters covering different aspects of AUV technology and applications in more detail than is commonly found in journal and conference papers. They are divided into three main sections, addressing innovative vehicle design, navigation and control techniques, and mission preparation and analysis. The progress conveyed in these chapters is inspiring, providing glimpses into what might be the future for vehicle technology and applications.

Table of Contents

Development of a Vectored Water-Jet-Based Spherical Underwater Vehicle
Shuxiang Guo and Xichuan Lin

Development of a Hovering-Type Intelligent Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, P-SURO
Ji-Hong Li, Sung-Kook Park, Seung-Sub Oh, Jin-Ho Suh, Gyeong-Hwan Yoon and Myeong-Sook Baek

Hydrodynamic Characteristics of the Main Parts of a Hybrid-Driven Underwater Glider PETREL
Wu Jianguo, Zhang Minge and Sun Xiujun

Real-Time Optimal Guidance and Obstacle Avoidance for UMVs
Oleg A. Yakimenko and Sean P. Kragelund

Formation Guidance of AUVs Using Decentralized Control Functions
Matko Barisic, Zoran Vukic and Nikola Miskovic

Modeling and Motion Control Strategy for AUV
Lei Wan and Fang Wang

Fully Coupled 6 Degree-of-Freedom Control of an Over-Actuated Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Matthew Kokegei, Fangpo He and Karl Sammut

Short-Range Underwater Acoustic Communication Networks
Gunilla Burrowes and Jamil Y. Khan

Embedded Knowledge and Autonomous Planning: The Path Towards Permanent Presence of Underwater Networks
Pedro Patrón, Emilio Miguelañez and Yvan R. Petillot

Deep-Sea Fish Behavioral Responses to Underwater Vehicles: Differences Among Vehicles, Habitats and Species
Franz Uiblein

Mapping and Dilution Estimation of Wastewater Discharges Based on Geostatistics Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Patrícia Ramos and Nuno Abreu

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Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap FY2011-2036

October 15, 2011 via – US Department of Defense

This document provides a DoD vision for the continuing development, fielding, and employment of unmanned systems technologies. Since publication of the last DoD Roadmap in 2009, the military Services have released individual Service roadmaps or related strategy documents. This roadmap defines a common vision, establishes the current state of unmanned systems in today’s force, and outlines a strategy for the common challenges that must be addressed to achieve the shared vision.

The challenges facing all military Services in the Department include:

1) Interoperability: To achieve the full potential of unmanned systems, these systems must operate seamlessly across the domains of air, ground, and maritime and also operateseamlessly with manned systems. Robust implementation of interoperability tenets will contribute to this goal while also offering the potential for significant life-cycle cost savings.

2) Autonomy: Today’s iteration of unmanned systems involves a high degree of human interaction. DoD must continue to pursue technologies and policies that introduce a higher degree of autonomy to reduce the manpower burden and reliance on full-time high-speed communications links while also reducing decision loop cycle time. The introduction of increased unmanned system autonomy must be mindful of affordability, operational utilities, technological developments, policy, public opinion, and their associated constraints.

3) Airspace Integration (AI): DoD must continue to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have routine access to the appropriate airspace needed within the National Airspace System (NAS) to meet training and operations requirements. Similar efforts must be leveraged for usage of international airspace.

4) Communications: Unmanned systems rely on communications for command and control (C2) and dissemination of information. DoD must continue to address frequency and bandwidth availability, link security, link ranges, and network infrastructure to ensure availability for operational/mission support of unmanned systems. Planning and budgeting for UAS Operations must take into account realistic assessments of projected SATCOM bandwidth, and the community must move toward onboard pre-processing to pass only critical information.

5) Training: An overall DoD strategy is needed to ensure continuation and Joint training requirements are in place against which training capabilities can be assessed. Such a strategy will improve basing decisions, training standardization, and has the potential to promote common courses resulting in improved training effectiveness and efficiency.

6) Propulsion and Power: The rapid development and deployment of unmanned systems has resulted in a corresponding increased demand for more efficient and logistically supportable sources for propulsion and power. In addition to improving system effectiveness, these improvements have the potential to significantly reduce life-cycle costs.

7) Manned-Unmanned (MUM) Teaming: Today’s force includes a diverse mix of manned and unmanned systems. To achieve the full potential of unmanned systems, DoD must continue to implement technologies and evolve tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) that improve the teaming of unmanned systems with the manned force.

This Roadmap leverages individual Service roadmaps and visions, and identifies challenges that might stand in the way of maturing those visions to a shared Joint vision. The vignettes provided at the beginning of the Roadmap give the reader a glimpse into potential unmanned systems capabilities. They do not serve as requirements—the individual Services will continue to identify requirements gaps and utilize the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) to determine which requirements to fund. The chapters that follow the vignettes identify core areas that are challenges for further growth in unmanned systems and chart out science,
technology, and policy paths that will enable unmanned systems to fulfill an expanding role in supporting the warfighter. Success in each of these areas is critical to achieve DoD’s shared vision and realize the full potential of unmanned systems at an affordable cost.


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Mechanical Design of a Self-Mooring Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

December 7, 2010 via – Virginia Tech


The Virginia Tech self-mooring autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is capable of mooring itself on the seafloor for extended periods of time. The AUV is intended to travel to a desired mooring location, moor itself on the seafloor, and then release the mooring and return to a desired egress location. The AUV is designed to be an inexpensive sensor platform. The AUV utilizes a false nose that doubles as an anchor. The anchor is neutrally buoyant when attached to the AUV nose. When the vehicle moors it releases the false nose, which floods the anchor making it heavy, sinking both the anchor and AUV to the seafloor. At the end of the mooring time the vehicle releases the anchor line and travels to the recovery location. A prototype vehicle was constructed from a small-scale platform known as the
Virginia Tech 475 AUV and used to test the self-mooring concept. The final self-mooring AUV was then constructed to perform the entire long duration mission. The final vehicle was tested successfully for an abbreviated mission profile. This report covers the general design elements of the self-mooring AUV, the detailed design of both the prototype and final AUVs, and the results of successful field trials with both vehicles.

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GhostSwimmer™: Tactically Relevant, Biomimetically Inspired, Silent, Highly Efficient and Maneuverable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

November 2, 2010 via – Office of Naval Research

The GhostSwimmer™ strives to significantly advance UUV technology by modeling it after fish because they have already solved the propulsion and maneuverability problem that plagues UUVs. In a strictly engineering sense where speed, maneuverability and endurance are crucial to survival, fish are very close to an optimal design. The distinguishing factor between GhostSwimmer™ and other biomimetic systems is tactical relevance. This vehicle is built to be functional, useful, payload carrying, robust, user-friendly, and optimized for mission performance.

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September 30, 2010 via – Naval Postgraduate School

The purpose of this thesis is to study the manning and maintainability requirements of a submarine unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) program. This case study reviews current commercial and military applications of UUVs and applies their principles to the missions of the Navy’s submarine force. Past and current UUV efforts are lacking requirements documents and the formal systems engineering process necessary to produce a successful program of record. Therefore, they are not being funded for use by the war-fighter. The Navy must develop formal concepts of operations (CONOPS) for the missions and systems that it wants to produce and allow industry to begin development for a formal future UUV program. Furthermore, the military has developed countless unmanned systems that have been developed for use in the water, on the ground and in the air, from which the Navy can apply important lessons learned. Lastly, analysis suggests that the Navy should continue to support the use of a submarine detachment for operation and maintainability of future vehicle programs.

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A Survey of Missions for Unmanned Undersea Vehicles

December 31, 2009 via – Rand Corporation

Which military missions for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) appear most promising to pursue in terms of military need, operational and technical risks, alternatives, and cost? To answer this question, the authors assess risks associated with using UUVs for advocated missions, identify non-UUV alternatives that may be more appropriate for such missions, and analyze potential costs associated with UUV development and use. They conclude that seven missions — mine countermeasures, deployment of leave-behind surveillance sensors or sensor arrays, near-land and harbor monitoring, oceanography, monitoring undersea infrastructure, anti-submarine warfare tracking, and inspection/identification — appear most promising.

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Energy Storage for long endurance AUVs

August 31, 2008 via – National Oceanography Centre

Energy Storage is a key Issue for Long Endurance autonomous underwater vehicles. Mission duration, speed through the water and sensor and payload capabilities are constrained by the energy available, which in turn is governed by the characteristics of the energy source or sources and the mass and volumn that the vehicle designer can devote to the energy system. Tensioned against these technical issues are those of cost, operational life, ease of use, maintainability, safety, securty and continuity of supply of the items forming the energy system. This paper focuses on primary and secondary electrochemical batteries, how existing vehicles have constructed their energy storage systems and seeks to establish whether electrochemical cells alone will be able to provide the necessary energy at an affordable cost for future long endurance AUV’s and the missions being considered.

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UUV FCEPS Technology Assessment and Design Process

October 27, 2006 via – Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

The primary goal of this technology assessment is to provide an initial evaluation and technology screening for the application of a Fuel Cell Energy/Power System (FCEPS) to the propulsion of an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV). The impetus for this technology assessment is the expectation that an FCEPS has the potential to significantly increase the energy storage in an UUV, when compared to other refuelable Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) energy/power systems, e.g., such as those based on rechargeable (“secondary”) batteries. If increased energy availability is feasible, the FCEPS will enable greater mission duration (range) and/or higher performance capabilities within a given mission. A secondary goal of this report is to propose a design process for an FCEPS within the UUV application.

This executive summary is an overview of the findings in the attached main report body (“UUV FCEPS Technology Assessment and Design Process”) which provides a complete technology assessment and design process report on available UUV FCEPS technology, design methodology, and concepts. The report is limited to the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell (FC) operating on hydrogen and oxygen.

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Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Fuel Cell Energy/Power System Technology Assessment

February 6, 2006 via – Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

This paper provides a technology assessment for an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) fuel cell energy/power system, including design methodology and design concepts. The design concepts are based on the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operating on hydrogen and oxygen. The technology assessment method presented is a holistic approach which combines alternative hydrogen and oxygen storage (and fuel cell system) options to provide the highest specific energy and energy density – within the constraints of the UUV application. Using this method, some surprising combinations appear as the theoretical “winners” for maximum energy storage within the application
constraints of the UUV.

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Open Architecture, Dual Commercial/Military Use of Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicles

October 31, 2004 via – NDIA

Executive Summary
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Manager for Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) (PMS 403) requested the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Undersea Warfare Division conduct a study on the potential for a large displacement UUV to be commercially designed for dual use such that it had commercial enterprise viability and also be a platform to test military payloads during periodic fleet battle experiments.

Major issues.

(1) The UUV is an important and versatile transformational element that can bring unique capabilities to the Navy of the future, particularly in pre-emptive and first response. It has the potential to become an essential part in the Navy’s FORCEnet concept in providing real-time information to gain an asymmetric advantage.

(2) Realization of the full potential of the UUV as a truly Autonomous Undersea Vehicle (AUV) in warfare will begin with a transition to a large displacement vehicle. The capability of small displacement UUVs will greatly limit what UUVs can provide as multi-mission assets and limit their true autonomy. Larger displacement UUVs must be integrated into new platform designs such that they can be viable organic assets. Utility as a force multiplier must be evident or the large footprint of a large displacement UUV and its support equipment will not be allocated space in future warship designs.

(3) The expanding commercial market must be leveraged to ensure that new systems can be developed in an affordable manner, using commercial standards. An expanding commercial market enables companies to provide systems that have military application while at the same time being commercially marketable.

Technical market research on a number of existing UUV programs provided information to assess our business cases from a broad range of designers, manufacturers, missions and users. They ranged from large Defense suppliers to small research companies, Navy and academic research laboratories. The researched historical programs revealed, many successes and failures, albeit with limited operational missions and customers. These programs provided
insight into the development and analysis of business cases.

Critical success factors and barriers. We found that the commercial market for AUVs would probably be increasing in robustness in the next five to ten years; however, competition, particularly foreign, would be keen with more commercial firms entering the marketplace.

Potential UUV Business Cases. The team postulated and analyzed a family of cases. These included:

(1) Traditional Government Procurement,

(2) Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Vehicle with a Short Term Government Lease,

(3) A COTS Vehicle Modified for Navy Use with a Long-Term Lease, and,

(4) Commercial-Navy Enterprise Partnership. The analysis of these cases included Cost, Technical, Schedule, and Programmatic factors. These were further broken down into sub-factors. Costs included development, construction
supportability, operation, damage//loss, indemnification and cost risk.

Technical factors included Common standards for payload flexibility, vehicle standards, operational requirements, operational security, and technical risk. Schedule factors included time to field the system, operational schedule and vehicle availability, and schedule risk.

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Design of an AUV Recharging System

June 30, 2004 via – MIT

The utility of present Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) is limited by their on-board energy storage capabihty. Research indicates that rechargeable batteries will continue to be the AUV power source of choice for at least the near future. Thus, a need exists in both military and commercial markets for a universal, industry-standard underwater AUV recharge system. A novel solution using a linear coaxial wound transformer (LCWT) inductive coupling mounted on
the AUV and a vertical docking cable is investigated. The docking cable may be deployed from either a fixed docking station or a mobile “tanker AUV”.

A numerical simulation of the simplified system hydrodynamics was created in MATLAB and used to evaluate the mechanical feasibihty of the proposed system. The simulation tool calculated cable tension and AUV oscillation subsequent to the docking interaction. A prototype LCWT couphng was built and tested in saltwater to evaluate the power transfer efficiency of the system. The testing indicated that the surrounding medium has little effect on system performance.

Finally, an economic analysis was conducted to determine the impact of the proposed system on the present military and commercial AUV markets. The recharge system creates substantial cost-savings, mainly by reducing support ship requirements. An effective AUV recharge system will be an important element of the Navy’s net-centric warfare concept, as well as a valuable tool for commercial marine industries.

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Coastal Observatory Research Arrays: A Framework for Implementation Planning

December 31, 2003 via – Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

The Coastal Observatory Research Array (CORA) Workshop (Chicago IL, 12 – 13 November 2003) was convened specifically to develop consensus regarding the design of coastal observatories. The goal of the workshop was to
provide an overall vision of the mix of required coastal Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) elements, thereby providing a framework upon which future implementation plans could be built.

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