Carneiro,JF; Pinto,JB; Nuno Cruz; de Almeida,FG; 5155
The growing needs in exploring ocean resources have been pushing the length and complexity of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) missions, leading to more stringent energy requirements. A promising approach to reduce the energy consumption of AUVs is to use variable buoyancy systems (VBSs) as a replacement or complement to thruster action, since VBSs only require energy consumption during limited periods of time to control the vehicle's floatation. This paper presents the development of an electrohydraulic VBS to be included in an existing AUV for shallow depths of up to 100 m. The device's preliminary mechanical design is presented, and a mathematical model of the device's power consumption is developed, based on data provided by the manufacturer. Taking a standard mission profile as an example, a comparison between the energy consumed using thrusters and the designed VBS is presented and compared.