Modular AUV for routine deep water science operations

  • Sibenac M
  • Kirkwood W
  • McEwen R
 et al. 
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The original Odyssey vehicle systems established a style of platform that has proven to be extremely versatile and useful for a variety of scientific missions. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has carried forward the Odyssey design, now called Dorado. Dorado is a mid-sized vehicle in comparison to other AUV systems. Dorado vehicles are 0.5334 m (21") diameter, and are designed for deep water (4500 m) operation. The Dorado design improves upon the original Odyssey versatility by dividing the vehicle up into modular sections. Specific sections can then be built to carry out each type of mission. A Dorado vehicle can then consist of a nose section, one or several mission-specific midbodies, and a tail section. The main vehicle systems for propulsion, control, data handling, navigation, acoustic sub-systems, and most other standard functions are housed in the tail section. This paper introduces the history of the Dorado systems, and what has been accomplished to date. This paper further describes the various architectural concepts and operational results. Future planning is also discussed.

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  • M. Sibenac

  • W.J. Kirkwood

  • R. McEwen

  • F. Shane

  • R. Henthorn

  • D. Gashler

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