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Prototype and Ocean Testing of AUV Servicing Platform




16: Aeronautics and Astronautics

Faculty Supervisor:

Olivier de Weck

Faculty email:


Apply by:

Spring: February 14, 2020; Summer: April 1, 2020


Dr. Maha Haji, mhaji@mit.edu

Project Description

The goal of this project is to develop a floating platform to service Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) by providing them with the ability to recharge their batteries at sea and to offload their data before beginning another mission. AUVs are currently limited in their missions by battery capacity and onboard data storage. These limitations require that AUVs be frequently recovered to recharge and offload data, a process which generally requires the assistance of a support vessel and crew (cost ~ $10,000/day). The autonomous servicing platform developed in this project could remove these limitations and drastically decrease the operating cost of AUVs. For this summer UROP, students will prototype and test a design for the floating servicing platform. The platform will utilize solar panels for energy generation and an Iridium system for satellite data transfer. Students will ocean test the prototype at MIT and Cape Cod. This project is in collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Sponsors: Haji, de Weck (MIT Aero Astro ESL) and Jim Bellingham (WHOI)


- Experience with hardware development (relevant courseworks may include 2.007, 2.72, 2.75, 2.70/2.77) - Experience with Arduino programming or similar - Experience with Python - Passionate about ocean exploration, ocean robotics, and learning!