Autonomous Underwater Explorers


Sponsors: National Science Foundation

Project Overview:

Currently there are very few ways of simultaneously obtaining  spatial and temporal resolution when collecting ocean data.  Of the existing methods, none are low-cost.  The idea behind the AUE project is to build a system that can give both temporal and special resolution in a cost effective manner.  One of the applications for this type of system is the study of small scale circulation, such as coastal or river circulation, and processes, such as dynamics of planktonic communities, oil spill expansion, and sewage outlets that exist on and are affected by such scales.

General Information:

The system is comprised of a swarm of small floats that are buoyancy controlled, acoustically tracked, contain sensors for data collection and are part of an adhoc network for relaying data to surface stations for analysis.  The buoyancy control allows the floats to collect data from various depths in the ocean.  Propulsion is not needed as the floats will be moving with the flow and obtaining data on circulation patterns.


  • Principal Investigators: Jules S. Jaffe, ad Peter J. S. Franks
  • Principal Engineers: Robert Glatts and Paul L. D. Roberts
  • Mechanical Engineer: Devin Ratelle
  • Graduate Students: Jessica Garwood, Perry Naughton

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