Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Docking

auv docking station Figure 1. Docking Station being tested in MBARI test tank.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) mission durations can be extended by recharging their batteries while at sea using an AUV Docking Station. MBARI has designed and built two experimental docking stations for their Dorado and Long Range AUVs, though only the Dorado docking station has been tested at sea (Figure 2).

auv docking station recovery from deployment Figure 2. Docking station being recovered after deployment.[/caption]

An AUV docking station provides a secure place to park an AUV between missions and usually provides power to recharge batteries and a gateway for communications to shore. While many different mechanical designs have been suggested, most employ a tapering cone to align an in-coming AUV into a capture tube and some way to lock the AUV into the dock. MBARI added an inductive power transfer and wireless data telemetry and is described in

[1]. The docking station was designed to plug into the MARS cabled observatory

[2]. The docking station for the LRAUV was designed to be integrated onto a riser cable like that used on MBARI’s Wave-Power system https://www.mbari.org/technology/emerging-current-tools/power/wave-power-buoy/.

Powerbuoy at sunset in Monterey Bay

Wave-Power Buoy

The power buoy has been in development for six years, and has been deployed and recovered six times over the past four years. Modifications after each deployment have increased the power buoy’s efficiency and the amount of time it can spend out in the ocean.

Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys

The range and endurance of the new long-range AUV (LRAUV) greatly expands the types of observations and experiments possible with autonomous platforms. For instance, one of the institute’s AUVs carries a comprehensive suite of sensors out to MBARI’s M2 mooring and back.

Team

Technology

Solving challenges
Taking the laboratory into the ocean
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer
Midwater Respirometer System
Mobile flow cytometer
Enabling targeted sampling
Automated Video Event Detection
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Mobile flow cytometer
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
Advancing a persistent presence
Aerostat hotspot
Benthic event detectors
Benthic rover
Fault Prognostication
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
MARS hydrophone for passive acoustic monitoring
Monterey Ocean-Bottom Broadband Seismometer
Shark Café camera
Vehicle Persistence
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
Emerging and current tools
Communications
Aerostat hotspot
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
Data management
Oceanographic Decision Support System
Spatial Temporal Oceanographic Query System (STOQS) Data
Video Annotation and Reference System
Instruments
Apex profiling floats
Benthic event detectors
Deep particle image velocimetry
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
Persistent presence—2G ESP
How does the 2G ESP work?
Arrays on the 2G ESP
Printing probe arrays
Expeditions and deployments
In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer
Investigations of imaging for midwater autonomous platforms
Lagrangian sediment traps
Midwater Respirometer System
Mobile flow cytometer
SeeStar Imaging System
Shark Café camera
Smart underwater connector
Power
Wave-Power Buoy
Vehicle technology
Benthic Rover
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Imaging autonomous underwater vehicle
Seafloor mapping AUV
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
Mini remotely operated vehicle
ROV Doc Ricketts
ROV Ventana
Video
Automated Video Event Detection
Deep learning
Video Annotation and Reference System
Technology publications
Technology transfer