PROJECT 3: Development of Propeller Driven Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LRAUV) for Under-Ice Mapping of Oil Spills and Environmental Hazards

Project PI: Dr. James Bellingham (WHOI PI), Amy Kukulya (WHOI)

Lead Institution: Woods Hole Institution

Supporting Team: Dr. Chris Reddy (WHOI), Dr. Mike Jakuba (WHOI)

Project Description:
The increasing level of commercial marine activity in high latitudes creates an ever growing risk of oil spills. Even in logistically accessible, ice-clear oceans, characterizing the extent and nature of a spill can be difficult as the Deepwater Horizon incident highlighted. We propose to develop an AUV-based approach leveraging a small, long-range system developed by the PI, called the Tethys Long-Range AUV (LRAUV). The LRAUV is helicopter-portable, allowing rapid response to incidents to provide situational awareness for first responders.

Outcomes of this project will be construction of a small long-range AUV (LRAUV) equipped with oil sensors and navigation systems, demonstration of the LRAUV survey capability, and creation of a simulator for gaming AUV deployments for oil spills. The resulting capability to survey oil spills at high latitudes and under ice answers an unmet need for DHS and the USCG.

LRAUV Field Test Report - November 3 2016