The Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (CUAUV) team is a group of 40 dedicated undergraduates who design and build an autonomous, robotic submarine in the annual, international RoboSub competition hosted by the Office of Naval Research and the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. This competition tasks students to build robust vehicles capable of autonomously completing an underwater obstacle course involving obstacle avoidance, object locating, and interactions such as shooting torpedoes through targets and carrying objects.
In order to successfully complete the course without human guidance, the CUAUV vehicle must be capable of unmanned navigation and control. While the aquatic setting allows a Doppler Velocity Log to measure relative velocities by the Doppler shift in sound waves, this information must be combined with orientation and acceleration in order to get sufficient positional accuracy for navigation and competition element interactions. The Sparton sensor (Digital Compass) provides a convenient approach packaged with inertial measurements to complement velocity data and deliver accurate and precise location. Importantly, the package includes built-in compensation for interference from nearby electronics and metals to improve operation in the restricted and noisy environment of a vehicle hull
CUAUV won 1st place overall in the competition and is incorporating the Sparton sensor in their new vehicle for the 2013 ONR/AUVSI RoboSub competition!