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Development of a passively pre-tensioned buoyancy engine for fail-safe underwater vehicle operation

Development of a passively pre-tensioned buoyancy engine for fail-safe underwater vehicle operation
Development of a passively pre-tensioned buoyancy engine for fail-safe underwater vehicle operation
This paper develops a systematic method to assess the suitability of buoyancy control systems to different mission profiles, risk acceptance thresholds and environmental sensitivities. We analyse various existing variable buoyancy engines (VBE) for different platforms and mission profiles. Our results identify a capability gap for low-energy seafloor survey platforms such as the Lagrangian imaging float that conduct most of their buoyancy control manoeuvres at depth and rely on end of missions recovery for data extraction. Based on these requirements, we introduce a novel VBE concept that uses the energy mechanically stored in a pre-tensioned spring to passively surface in the event of power loss and reduce power consumption when changing buoyancy at depth. The equations to size the pre-tensioning spring are developed and simulations are performed to demonstrate the reduced power consumption at depth. Unlike safety systems that use drop weights, the pre-tensioned VBE minimises environmental impact by achieving net positive buoyancy without leaving anything behind in the environment.
Rolfe, Callum
e0d08455-0b03-4d6d-952d-adc452d26543
Thornton, Blair
8293beb5-c083-47e3-b5f0-d9c3cee14be9
Massot Campos, Miguel
a55d7b32-c097-4adf-9483-16bbf07f9120
Rolfe, Callum
e0d08455-0b03-4d6d-952d-adc452d26543
Thornton, Blair
8293beb5-c083-47e3-b5f0-d9c3cee14be9
Massot Campos, Miguel
a55d7b32-c097-4adf-9483-16bbf07f9120

Rolfe, Callum, Thornton, Blair and Massot Campos, Miguel (2020) Development of a passively pre-tensioned buoyancy engine for fail-safe underwater vehicle operation. 6 pp . (Submitted)

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

This paper develops a systematic method to assess the suitability of buoyancy control systems to different mission profiles, risk acceptance thresholds and environmental sensitivities. We analyse various existing variable buoyancy engines (VBE) for different platforms and mission profiles. Our results identify a capability gap for low-energy seafloor survey platforms such as the Lagrangian imaging float that conduct most of their buoyancy control manoeuvres at depth and rely on end of missions recovery for data extraction. Based on these requirements, we introduce a novel VBE concept that uses the energy mechanically stored in a pre-tensioned spring to passively surface in the event of power loss and reduce power consumption when changing buoyancy at depth. The equations to size the pre-tensioning spring are developed and simulations are performed to demonstrate the reduced power consumption at depth. Unlike safety systems that use drop weights, the pre-tensioned VBE minimises environmental impact by achieving net positive buoyancy without leaving anything behind in the environment.

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AUV2020 Rolfe Thornton Massot
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Submitted date: 30 September 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443960
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443960
PURE UUID: 3ea8bd53-e5f8-4fdc-b947-823bb1a8e8f1
ORCID for Miguel Massot Campos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1202-0362

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Date deposited: 18 Sep 2020 16:30
Last modified: 19 Sep 2020 01:51

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Contributors

Author: Callum Rolfe
Author: Blair Thornton

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