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Jonathan Smith

CFD SIMULATION OF AUV DEPTH CONTROL

Jonathan Smith
Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science

Nahidul Khan
Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science

Michael Hinchey
Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science


     Last modified: September 12, 2011

Abstract
The most accurate way to study the motion of an autonomous underwater vehicle or AUV is to build it and test it in a water tank or at sea. Unfortunately, this can be very time consuming and expensive, especially if a lot of parameters need to be varied. Another way to study the motion is to develop a simulation which uses steady state drag and inertia coefficients to get fluid loads on the AUV, which is not very accurate. Computational Fluid Dynamics or CFD package known as FLOW 3D is used to study depth control of an AUV. CFD is more accurate than the coefficient approach but less time consuming and less expensive than the experimental approach. The paper describes the details of the CFD simulation, and also presents 3D animations of an AUV moving through a CFD grid with its propellers controlled by relay switching.

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