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Bottom Feeder - A Highly Maneuverable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Contract: 1305M218CNRMW0044
Agency Tracking Number: 18-1-045
Amount: $119,933.21
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.2.2
Solicitation Number: NOAA-2018-1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-01-16
Small Business Information
73-4460 Queen Kaahumanu Hwy #138
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
United States
DUNS: 080944654
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 William Latham
 Sr. Naval Architect / Marine Engineer
 (540) 903-5544
Business Contact
 David Jochum
Title: President
Phone: (571) 243-0870
Research Institution

Bottom Feeder will be a highly maneuverable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), with a tethered operations option and modular sensor bay, to support benthic optical surveys, coral reef mapping and health assessment, and be expandable for future survey operations. It will integrate a low drag hullform, a minimum of four degrees of independent motion control, a highly efficient propulsion system, autonomous obstacle avoidance, a modular sensor bay that can accommodate multiple sensors at a time, and capable of supporting multiple survey methods. Bottom Feeder will operate in two configuration modes and be able to dynamically change between modes while submerged. The first configuration is AUV Mode using in-line propulsors where pitch and yaw of the platform is used to control direction and depth like torpedo shaped AUVs. The second configuration is ROV Mode using six vectored thrusters to control orientation, propulsion, and depth of the platform and provide at least four degrees of freedom. AUV Mode focuses on straight line efficiency with good transect or path following, while ROV Mode is geared towards high maneuverability; especially at low or no forward speed. Both modes will have the capability of running autonomously or tethered to the surface, and changing while submerged.SUMMARY OF ANTICIPATED RESULTS:
At the end of Phase I we anticipate having a complete preliminary design of the prototype vehicle to move into Phase II with. Additionally, we will have physically proven many of the performance aspects of the vehicle by building and testing a proof of concept demonstrator. This demonstrator will have reduced the risk on the most challenging aspects of the design while being able to collect scientific data from multiple sensors.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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