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AUV sensor integration and science

Observing complexity in the ocean: AUV development
Project Manager/Lead Scientist: John Ryan
Lead Engineer: Hans Thomas

This proposal is a companion to proposal for Observing Complexity in the Coastal Ocean, and it defines autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) development requirements for meeting the science goals of that proposal. This proposal assumes establishment of a core, water column, AUV payload section as part of the O’Reilly/Chavez proposal: AUV CTD time series measurements.

The scientific focus of this proposal and its companion is on multi-disciplinary process studies in Monterey Bay: formation and evolution of physical and biological layers, topographically-forced circulation, turbulence, and particulate properties and transport. In 2002, AUV development focus would be on integration of a single off-the-shelf optical instrument with the AUV platform and the core water column payload section.  (See O’Reilly/Chavez proposal for core AUV payload plans.) This would be applied to layer studies. 

Future development would focus on an intelligent suspended particle sampler that can respond to environmental conditions so that it can be applied to pelagic sediment and microbial studies. This would be applied to particle and tidal circulation studies of the canyon-shelf system. Additional development  would require integration of a small, off-the-shelf fluorometer appropriate to fluorescent dye tracking. This would be applied to study subtidal circulation of the canyon-shelf system. Field experiments in the first and third years seek to join the strengths of the ROV and AUV platforms for multidisciplinary studies.