Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) provide a unique and cost-effective platform for conducting ocean acoustic measurements and surveys such as marine mammal monitoring, extensive area seafloor topography survey, and fish stock survey. The small and medium-sized AUVs combine load-carrying capability, motion, and range and allow for timescale observations that are difficult to achieve with traditional acoustic observation platforms. However, self-noise is still an unavoidable challenge for AUVs when applied in passive acoustic monitoring. This paper presents the acoustic observation application of the Petrel acoustic AUV in marine monitoring. The layout design of a Petrel acoustic AUV and acoustic sensor integration are described in detail, and the self-noise characteristics of Petrel acoustic AUVs are evaluated by simulation and testing. The results showed that the self-noise level of Petrel acoustic AUVs is effectively controlled with its optimized design, and the maximum noise of the propulsion system is only 75 dB in the low-frequency band. Therefore, the Petrel acoustic AUV can be used as an ideal acoustic observation platform to carry out diverse observation tasks. Finally, a solution of fixed-depth motion is proposed to address the problem that frequent attitude adjustment affects the quality of acoustic data in fixed-depth navigation. According to a sea trial in the South China Sea, the method can significantly reduce the attitude adjustment frequency and, thus, provide an ideal environment for acoustic observation. This method also applies to other underwater mobile observation platforms. This study provides a reference for the acoustic integration design of underwater equipment such as long-range AUVs or hybrid-driven underwater gliders.
Design, analysis, and testing of Petrel acoustic autonomous underwater vehicle for marine monitoring
Note: This paper is part of the special topic, Flow and Acoustics of Unmanned Vehicles.
Xuehao Wang, Yanhui Wang, Peng Wang, Shaoqiong Yang, Wendong Niu, Yehao Yang; Design, analysis, and testing of Petrel acoustic autonomous underwater vehicle for marine monitoring. Physics of Fluids 1 March 2022; 34 (3): 037115. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0083951
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