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AUV sensor integration and science

AUV launch system
Project Manager: Steve Etchemendy
Lead Engineer: Drew Gashler/DJ Osborne

The advent of an operational autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) by mid-2002 necessitates the development of a reliable AUV launch and recovery system for the R/V Zephyr. This proposal outlines a review of current operational systems, then a process for the external design and construction of a launch and recovery system. There are several external companies that have reasonable potential for developing a reliable system. The review process can be expected to reveal additional options and to qualify vendors. The system will be required to launch and recover either the operational or developmental model AUVs from the R/V Zephyr in conditions up to Sea State 4. The goal will be to have minimal required AUV-mounted hardware. Visits to organizations currently launching AUVs will be organized to review various launch and recovery concepts. Testing of the system will require a buoyant AUV simulator and several R/V Zephyr days for development and refinement.