A Low-Cost Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Prototype for Shallow Water Tasks
Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) have received worldwide attention and been widely used in various applications. In this paper, a recently developed low cost UUV prototype at the University of Canterbury is introduced, which is designed specifically for shallow water tasks, especially for inspecting and cleaning sea chests of ships for biosecurity purpose. The main hull of the UUV is made of PVC, with a 400mm diameter and 800mm length. External frames mount two horizontal propellers, four vertical thrusters, and power is sea chest derived from onboard batteries. The maximum thrust force of up to 10kg that is provided by the propellers can generate a forward/backward speed of up to 1.4mIs for the 112kg UUV. The vertical thrusters provide depth control with a max thrust force of 20kg. The UUV is equipped with a range of sensors capable of sensing its instantaneous temperature, depth, attitude and surrounding environment. Costing less than US$10,000 for a prototype, it provides an excellent platform for further underwater vehicle development targeting shallow water tasks with a working depth up to 20m.