Hydrodynamic Characterization of USV Vessels with Innovative SWATH Configuration for Coastal Monitoring and Low Environmental Impact

The high costs associated with the use of research oceanographic vessels and the maturity of the unmanned surface vehicles (USV) makes now possible to develop systems for monitoring coastal areas based on networks of independent USVs. This type of vessels is a valid alternative to conventional vessels, which have a limited mission profile due to their high environmental impact (conventional propulsion systems based on polluting fossil fuels) inhibiting their access to protected coastal regions. Moreover, conventional vessels have high hydrodynamic resistance (limiting the autonomy) producing high levels of noise that can dramatically influence the monitoring equipment shipped: beside the environmental impact reduction, there is also the necessity of low-resistance/low-noise hydrodynamic specification. Consequently, the coastal monitoring (of also protected regions) needs unconventional vessels able to address both the issues related to the environmental impact and the hydrodynamic performance. In this framework, this work aims to characterize the hydrodynamic performance of a system based on USV units able to launch and recover autonomous vehicles of different nature (gliders, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUVs), motor-gliders, wire-guided Underwater Exploration Robots (ROVs)), and able to acquire environmental data (in the column water from free-surface to the sea floor), in order to meet the requirements of civil and military applications. The cutting-edge aspects that characterize the USV studied are the hull SWATH type (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hulls) non-conventional, optimized so as to ensure a unique seakeeping and a reduced resistance, along with the propulsion system with propellers in mantle, developed to combine propulsive efficiency and low noise. In the present paper, a SWATH-shaped USV designed for monitoring of protected coastal regions is numerically studied solving the Navier-Stokes equations on the fully appended vessels with several environmental conditions. An accurate hydrodynamic characterization will presented in order to investigate its performances and eventual maneuverability issues.


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  • Accession Number: 01606216
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:29AM