Seabed : Design, Development, and Initial Deployments of a new Hover-

Capable Imaging AUV

A0086 Hanumant Singh Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A0085 Ryan Eustice Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A0145 Neil McPhee Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A0087 Oscar Pizarro Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A0146 Christopher Roman Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In this paper we highlight the recent advances in the development of a

new long-term deployable AUV, which was designed with the objective of

being a readily available and operationaly simple tool that allows

rapid testing of docking methodologies and imaging algorithms. As

such, it is a highly stable hover-capable vehicle that performs

optical sensing with a 12-bit 1280x1024 monochrome CCD camera and

acoustic mapping with an Marine Sonics Technology 300kHz sidescan

sonar with a swath width of 400m. Complementary onboard vehicle and

navigation sensors include: a Seabird conductivity and temperature

sensor, RDI acoustic doppler current profiler, Acoustic Modem,

Paroscientific depth sensor, and a Crossbow attitude heading reference


The AUV was designed for operations from small vessels with minimal

support equipment. Thus, vehicle navigation can be performed via

standard long baseline (LBL)acoustics nets if available or rely on the

Doppler Velocity Log (DVL), which can also perform water column

measurements. Current capabilities can allow positioning accuracy on

the order of 0.1 meters when working in an LBL net with the DVL.

Operationally the vehicle has a depth limit of 2000m, which at 1m/s

can run up to 10 hours surveying 36km per mission.

The contents of this paper further describe in detail the vehicle and

its unique design aspects along with showcasing some vehicle

performance data. In particular we illustrate AUV performance with

actual mission data that shows vehicle pitch and roll stability,

heading performance, altitude following, constant depth holding, and

navigational dead-reckoning. We also highlight sidescan sonar

performance over a variety of bottom terrain.