MIT2_017JF09_sw2_proposal - Proposal for a Design of a...

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Proposal for a Design of a Autonomous Bridge-Mapping Hydroplane Proposed for: 2.017 Design of Electromechanical Robotic Systems Professor Franz Hover Lab Instructor Harrison Chin September 29, 2009 1. Objective This project aims to create an autonomous surface vessel which will be able to investigate under and around the supports of a bridge, specifically the Harvard Bridge located in the Charles River of Boston, MA. The design will encompass various settings for the speed and level of control used for different portions of the mission and will also optimize the energy use and speed of the mission. 2. Project Description and Approach 2.1 Background The use of autonomous surface vehicles allows the surveying of large areas of water without the need for directed operation. The researcher may use an unmanned vehicle in situations where it is impractical or dangerous for a human operator to be present. High-speed unmanned vehicles also allow a larger area to be surveyed in a shorter amount of test time, a valuable resource in both research and industry. 2.2 Specific Goals In this project, the vehicle is being designed to survey the footings of the Harvard Bridge which spans the Charles River. The mission sees the vehicle steering itself to the bridge and photographing a bridge piling at multiple perspectives. The team is modifying a commercially available, high-speed electric hydroplane to run smoothly at differing optimal speeds. The vehicle, a Pro Boat Miss Elam, will be outfitted with a range of sensors. The energy consumption during the mission is also of concern. Although the vehicle will most likely meet its power requirements with additional batteries, the will also be a proof-of-concept for meeting these needs with an attached solar collector. Further, the motors and main power drawing elements of the system will be optimized to conserve energy where possible. This complex autonomous system will require both a rigorous control system and a rugged, waterproof design. 2.3 Functional Requirements Much more than just a camera and a means to trigger will be necessary for the successful completion of this mission. One major challenge will be ensuring the proper positioning of the boat with respect to the bridge pilings. To this end, the boat will be outfitted with a range of sensors such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, and a GPS system to assist in the navigation of the river to the bridge. A laser range sensor will be used in positioning the vehicle while it surveys near the bridge, as GPS data will be unreliable beneath the bridge. Another key ability is the power use-optimizing “modes” mission plan the team has identified as critical to the completion of the mission. The boat is quite small and can only carry so much on-board power. Far from the bridge, high speed will enable the boat to get to the bridge as quickly as possible. However, near the bridge speed is much less necessary and more power will need to be routed to the
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course CIVIL 1.00 taught by Professor Georgekocur during the Spring '05 term at MIT.

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MIT2_017JF09_sw2_proposal - Proposal for a Design of a...

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