Wave Energy Harvesting to Power Unmanned Surface Vehicles
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
Recent world events have highlighted the need for timely and accurate intelligence data to assess threats and combat terror. An unmanned surface vehicle (USV ) can potentially perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, provide force protection, hunt for mines in coastal waters or harbors, and provide port security. USVs under development by the Navy are powered by the combustion of logistics fuel which limits the potential range and duration of a mission. For ISR missions it is desired for USVs to have nearly unlimited range and mission duration, so it is necessary to develop a power source of nearly unlimited availability. The oceans are an energy-rich environment with the potential to scavenge energy from wave motion and the sun. The proposed energy scavenging (ES) system will make use of high-efficiency commercially available solar cells as well as a wave energy harvesting technique long used in navigational buoys. The periodic motion of an oscillating water column (OWC) is used to compress an air volume that generates an audible signal, or whistle, in a manner similar to a pipe organ. The basic OWC principle has been successfully demonstrated in both shore line and open water devices to generate electrical power.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Advanced Mechanical Technology, Inc.
176 Waltham Street Watertown, MA 02472
Number of Employees:
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLO
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Office of Sponsored Programs
Cambridge, MA 02139
Nonprofit college or university