Development of an auxiliary propulsion module for an autonomous underwater glider

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Journal titleJournal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Pages255266; # of pages: 12
Subjectauxiliary propulsion module; autonomous underwater glider; hydrodynamic model; self-propulsion tests; propulsion system efficiency; drag measurements; flume tank tests; autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); hybrid glider; marine propulsion; horizontal flight
AbstractA low-power propeller-based propulsion module has been developed to augment the buoyancy engine of a 200m Slocum electric glider. This device is introduced to allow new behaviours such as horizontal flight and faster overall speeds to expand the existing operational envelope of underwater gliders. The design of the system is optimized for use at the typical horizontal glider speed of 0.3 m/s. Before integration into the glider the stand-alone propulsion module has been tested in a small flume tank to verify the systems performance. The validity of a previously published hydrodynamic model of the glider at zero angle of attack was verified by conducting drag measurements at various flow velocities at full scale in a larger flume tank. Self-propulsion tests were also performed to establish the performance of the glider with the new propulsion module in the larger flume tank and in the university tow tank. The results from these tests show that the new propulsion module is able to match the performance of the conventional glider for full depth profiles and to exceed it for limited depth profiles.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Ocean Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number17664860
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Record identifierd3901965-4976-4bb0-b178-0b4b5ef43237
Record created2011-04-01
Record modified2016-05-09
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