Thanks to the support of several sponsors, including the Gainesville
Section of the IEEE, the University of Florida sent eight students and a
faculty advisor to participate in AUVSI and ONR's Eighth International
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition from August 3rd through August
7, 2005. UF's autonomous submarine, SubjuGator, earned first place in
the competition. Among the participating schools were MIT, Cornell,
Duke, and Georgia Tech as well as teams from Canada and Asia. This
annual competition was held at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems
Center in San Diego, California.
The SubjuGator team, composed of six undergraduates and two graduate
students, started work on their fifth submarine platform in the fall of
2004. The innovative design of the sub they built gained vital points
by being about one-third the weight of any of the other top five
SubjuGator is designed to operate underwater at depths in excess of 32
feet. The mission behavior of SubjuGator is controlled by a network of
I2C modules. This system includes sensors, motor controllers, and other
necessary peripherals. A single-board Pentium M based computer running
the Windows XP Professional operating system provides processing power
for the vision system and advanced signal processing.
The mission objectives included docking with an underwater beacon,
locating and marking a break in a pipe structure, and surfacing in a
predetermined area marked by an acoustic pinger. New objectivews are
chosen every year to model real world tasks that underwater vehicles
might need to perform. SubjuGator makes use of advanced vision
processing, a PID conrol system, and a hydrophone array to accomplish
the mission objecives.
Thanks again to the Gainesville section of IEEE for there financial
support of the 2005 Team SubjuGator!
More information on the SubjuGator project is available at
http://subjugator.org/. Additional information about the competition is
available at http://www.auvsi.org/competitions/water.cfm.