Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
San Diego here we come!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
This week the team was able to do two days of pool testing which helped us to identify a couple of areas in the control code where we could optimize and improve the overall vehicle performance. Our mission devices have all been designed and we are waiting for a few of the last pieces to arrive before we attach them to the vehicle.
The vehicle's cameras are currently being trained to the competition elements that we constructed. (More Pictures of those photo album on the right side)
Here are a few of the pictures from the testing this week.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Another week has gone by and progress has been achieved. Numerous hurdles have been overcome including the fixing of the addition to kill switch relay and getting rid of a battery. One of our problems was that it seemed like the vehicle would recieve intermitent commands to the thrusters. this resulted in some serious code searching for probelms. However, it seems the fault lay with a bad battery. Right now the vehicle can maintain a stable depth, reasonable heading control, and waypoint navigation all at the same time. Additionally, we have the dropper board installed inside of the vehicle and ready to be used. It seems our biggest hurdle now will be finding places to put everything onto the vehicle. Maybe we''ll give this turtle some legs. Either way our vehicle is now more capable than the vehicle we had at the end of last years compeition ahcieving an almost .1 m accuracy to waypoints can maintain that point within .3 m. Next week all the troops will be assembled and we shall see how much we can do. The video is of the vehicle sucessfully completing the box test, drive a series of waypoints in the shape of a box below the water while maintinging a depth of 1 foot. The only real issue seems to be a need for better heading control and that without the weight of the cameras the vehicle pitches but those should be resolved before the competion.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
All tests of the AUV components including the thrusters, DVL, depth cell, and compass are completed. Each of the ports had to be checked for pin-out order, voltage supplied and communication with the main computer to ensure that the vehicle is ready for water testing.
We are programming a demonstration plan for the AUV to include precision navigation using the compass and depth cell. The demonstration/test is scheduled for Friday and will show that our vehicle is completed and ready for operation. Naturally, we are going to continue to upgrade and perfect the programming and tasking for the vehicle but we will merely be making tweaks and improvements.
The frame is not going to be returned from the paint shop until thursday which means that we need to have the computer and programming ready for installation as soon as the frame is returned.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
After returning from break we weighed the AUV and were pleased when it weighed in at 38.92lbs. This is a significant improvement from last year's vehicle (yellow AUV above) which was 50lbs at the competition.
This was one of the primary objectives throughout the construction process this year and was accomplished through multiple means. Primarily the Doppler Velocity Log, Main Pelican Case housing, and clear Camera Case housing were all substituted for smaller equivalents.
The frame was dropped off today for painting at Fitzgerald Body shop in Rockville, MD which graciously offered to give the extruded plexiglass a high gloss professional paint job. We hope to have it back by next week so we can begin pool testing.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
All major systems of the 2009 AUV nicknamed "Awkward Turtle" have been wired and connected to the computer and vehicle. Before all systems are powered up we are going to conduct a complete system voltage and continuity checks to ensure that all of our systems will not be overloaded or "fried". All of these check will be completed after spring break while everyone takes some much deserved time off and we prepare for the end of the semester.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The big push this week is to complete the wiring of the components to the computer and ensure that all leads are installed correctly. This is easier said then done, as shown by the picture, because there is such a mass of identical wires that can only go to their one specific place on the computer or power sources.
Friday, March 6, 2009
The testing of all waterproof connections on the vehicle main housing and camera housing is complete. Upon submerging the housings under the surface of the water they were moved to different depths with 15 feet being the maximum. Total testing time underwater was 1 hour 45 minutes. After retrieval, the inside's of the cases were visually and physically inspected for any moisture that might have leaked through. No moisture was found inside of either case, passing all tests with flying colors.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
All eleven waterproof SeaCon connectors have been installed on the main housing as well as the one on the camera housing. The layout of the connectors had to be precisely measured in order to ensure maximum spacing between the elements which would give the greatest amount of structural stability of the front mounting area.
The penetrations will allow for a method of disconnecting any single element without compromising the water tight integrity of the main housing. These connectors connect the thrusters, depth cell, cameras, compass, sonar, Ethernet tether, and kill switch to the main housing.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Today the breakout board for the computer to communicate with all the components has been completed. The greatest improvement over last year's design is the footprint, which is essentially half the area as last year's board and now fits completely beneath the computer. This puts the team on schedule to complete the vehicle assembly by spring break next week.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The circuit board has been designed, completed and sent out for printing. The design has been greatly improved from last year's AUV. The new design has a smaller footprint and is more efficient on it's use of pins. With the new design we have also created an effective way of managing the wires to make the overall appearance much more professional and organized.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Due to poor performance and a decaying lifespan we have sought a new compass to replace the old Honeywell that we have been using for years.
The new compass has improved versatility with a greater pitch and roll range as well as hard and soft iron calibration. The new TCM 5 compass was graciously given to us by PNI and we are looking forward to installing it on the vehicle.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
I have another location but with the same results. I'm sending it to one last location for calibration and if we are still encountering magnetic saturation then the problem may be with the compass. The good news is that the roll and pitch measurements are accurate and reliable to +/- 80 degrees.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
We need to work on picking out a team name in the near future...hopefully something that's not too embarrassing.
The vision system is being tweaked but at this week's meeting we were able to find a buoy in a lighted and dark room with a light but we want to work on some of the line tracking and underwater factors this week.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
After being plauged by errors while trying to get last year's vehicle up and running Cusch discovered that the computer is fine but believes the problem is in the thrusters' power board. This is good news and means that we should be able to start using the computer to work on code.
The link included with this post is one that was forward to me by Cush on a quality underwater camera. Because of budget and our current design we will be using last year's cameras but might upgrade before the competition if the funding comes through.