Tuesday, December 30, 2008

AUV assembly and battery install

With Hilary's assistance today we unpacked and assembled the AUV and began the battery install process.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home sweet lab

Today with some help from Ron the AUV moved from my house to its home in the CSHEL lab. Tomorrow we will unpack all the equipment and install the batteries.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In lieu of the Red Rider BB Gun...

Seems the jolly old St. Nick must have run out of the Red Rider BB Gun this year as instead what appeared under my tree from the hardworking elves in Iceland was our new Gavia AUV. Thankfully there were no warnings about the potential dangers to ones ocular organs ("you'll shoot your eye out") so seems we are safe there. In the second photo I decided to have some fun with the vignette and sepia tone settings to give it that old time Christmas look. I found myself instantly transported back to a time years ago waking up and finding a remote controlled robot on Christmas morning. Yes Mr. Wordsworth "The Child is the Father of the Man" (My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold). I wonder what things the future holds for the next generation. Happy Adventures!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Boxing Day miracle of sorts

In a late holiday entry today a truck arrived at my house to deliver
our AUV from Iceland together with it's new acoustic modem module.
Rejoice and exultation abound...now if only I can fit it all under the
tree in my living room.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

New mounting bracket for tracking pinger

There is now a proper bracket inside the tower fairing on the control
module for the Sonotronics pinger locator we use on the AUV. Now is
only we can get said pinger and AUV across the pond and here to us. ;^)
Note: Best practice is to remove the reed switch magnet and simply
toss it away noting the date for starting the pinger, they must be
replaced every 48 months according to the manufacturer

MIMO payload module arrives for AUV

Early Christmas here at CSHEL as our new acoustic payload module for
the AUV arrived yesterday and we had a chance to open it up and look
at the components.
The flooded section will house the acoustic transponders and the
pressure vessel is where our Data Acquisition Unit (DAQ) will go.
Note: be cautious not to try and lift the vehicle around the flooded
Next to see how well the DAQ electronics fit inside the pressure vessel.
Thanks to Bill and Hilary for assistance in the lab.

Monday, December 15, 2008

CSHEL get's an AUV support boat

Today our new Zodiac just arrived as I discovered a big box down in
the lab. Felt like an early Christmas present. Adam played the role
of Santa's workshop elf and without me even asking he went ahead and
put the boat together discovering along the way that the pump hose had
a tear. He managed to fix it but we're gonna need a replacement part
since it is brand new. Next on the list is to find a small outboard
motor to attach to the transome. Should give us just the kind of
portable ready response we need in the off chance (fingers crossed)
that we have to go track down an errant sub.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What are AUVs all about...

Here is a short vignette excised from the College of Marine and Earth
Studies new video http://www.ums.udel.edu/podcast/watch?c=152
This deals with the AUV work in our lab and shows some footage of our

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Project Confluence

I can't believe I have only just learned about this project given our
interest in geocaching, globe-trotting, and an addiction to shows like
The Amazing Race. I am tempted to go back trough various cruise and
project log books to find out how many we've been to already. Will
definitely keep an eye-out in the future for subsequent crossings.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stop AUV thief!

Dr. Mark Patterson makes a recent visit to the Hafmynd corporate
offices and seeing the new UD AUV gets some big ideas! Hands off

Thursday, July 31, 2008

AUV deployment for TIDE 2008 Program

Since I was busy at the controls I didn't get a lot of photos during
the set-up, launch, and mission execution phase (others took those
shots). I do have a few photos from our recovery and demob. Here
goes. Enjoy!
Thanks to all the students for coming out and helping out.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Gavia Blog

On July 12, 2008 we arrived at CCOM at UNH to begin testing the lab's
newest technology, the AUV Gavia, which was arriving from Iceland! When we
first entered the workshop Eggert, an engineer working on the Gavia, was
connecting the batteries (Photo 3338). Since I've never worked with
anything like this, Eggert told me some amazing details about how the
Gavia can operate for 2-4 hours in 5-40 m of water with an impressive
array of instruments (sidescan sonar, Geoswath, ADCP, camera, propulsion
and navigation system, oxygen sensor, and flourometer…) running. The Gavia
is controlled by four computer, which must be carefully sealed in the
aluminum casing so they remain dry. I was very excited to see the Gavia
and couldn't wait to test it in the tanks on Monday!

July 13, 2008
We got up early anticipating the need for a lot of tinkering with the
Gavia to make it work. Labmates Hilary and Stephanie have cautioned me
with tales of past AUV operations; however, all signs were good when we
started the Gavia: it turned on, the props worked, and all systems were
operational. Everyone cheered when we put the Gavia in the tanks for the
first time and all the lights turned on (Photo 3369). The one
disappointment is that the Gavia's accident avoidance system was so
sensitive that Gavia could not safely maneuver in the tank. Instead we
were able to run an endurance "stress" test to see how long the Gavia
could run with all systems operating. We got about 3.5 hours of operation,
with the AUV operating at different speeds. Throughout the test the Gavia
was tethered to the pool and slurped and burped the water unhappily,
wanting to swim free.

July 14, 2008
Morning camera calibration tests went so smoothly that we were able to
take the Gavia on its first experience in U.S. waters at Adam's Point
(Photo 3395). We trimmed the Gavia, slowly moving weights from bow to
stern and making incremental changes in weight, so the Gavia would float
evenly in the water. Test dives from the dock showed that once again, the
accident avoidance system is very sensitive, making causing the Gavia to
abort dives and missions. On the last dive the Gavia moved out of Wi-Fi
range and was rapidly being swept away by a strong tidal current. Luckily
a UNH student let us hop on his boat and rescue the Gavia before it

July 15, 2008
Today was a big day at CCOM, as it was the annual review by NOAA, and we
got to show off our AUV. We also worked with George Tait from Geometrics,
who is helping determine if we can add a magnetometer to the Gavia. We
tested this in the tanks by measuring changes in the magnetic field while
the Gavia operated with different instruments and at different speeds. In
photo 3405 labmate, Stephanie, keeps a hold on the Gavia while
demonstrating how it flies through the water. Preliminary results suggest
it will work! Eggert tutored us in the afternoon about how to operate the
Gavia using the computer controls, which at first seemed very complex, but
after he explained the system, seemed pretty user-friendly.

July 16, 2008
We got an early start on the day so we could spend as much time in the
field as possible. Eggert tinkered with the accident avoidance system to
take into account the vehicle length, which is longer than the ones they
are used to working with, and pitch, so we had high hope of getting some
good data. The Gavia was still having problems with oversensitivity of
the accident avoidance system, so Eggert turned that system off. We held
our breaths waiting for the vehicle to resurface after the first mission
in Great Bay (Photo 3414). Although we had to search for the Gavia it was
able to complete 4 transects. It was having some trouble with eel grass
fouling the props and moving against strong tidal currents. In the
afternoon we sent the Gavia out in Little Bay, where 2 transects were
completed before the props were too fouled to move against the currents.
In the late afternoon we reviewed our data and found that most systems
were operating well, although there is some problem with the DVL rejecting
the GPS data. Overall, the Gavia looks like a great tool for mapping the
seafloor and taking basic measurements once some problems can be resolved,
especially with the accident avoidance system, Wi-Fi connection and
communication with the computer to aid in navigation and locating the
vehicle post-mission.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

DORA @ Adam's Point

Here is DORA (Delaware Oceanographic Research Auv) at Adam's Point in Great Bay NH for her initial test/training runs.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Gavia comes to CCOM

Assembled and on an electrical charge, the new AUV can be seen on the desk here in th CCOM high bay. Makes a nice desktop accessory doesn't it?

AUV arrives @ CCOM!

Courtesy of Stephanie here is a photo of the new AUV being assembled at the CCOM lab at UNH in preparations for testing and survey work this week.
Feels like Christmas in July!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Gavia AUV Sea Trials in Iceland

Thanks to Eggert for providing some photos of today's Gavia tests in
the harbor in Reykjavik. The new AUV flies out tomorrow for a first
week of operations in New Hampshire then down here to Delaware for
more testing.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First a new AUV operator now a new AUV...first look photos of DORA assemblies

These just in from Iceland our first look at the various component
modules of the new AUV DORA. Here you can see the propulsion module,
INS/DVL module, battery module (with handle), nose cone (note
ventral camera), shipping boxes, and control module (O2, LED strobe,
and SVS sensors can clearly be seen).

testing begins in earnest next week so stay tuned for more updates.