NURC’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicles at the University of North Carolina Wilmington — Eagle Ray AUV

Affiliated with the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Eagle Ray AUV

The Eagle Ray AUV is designed for deepwater operation to 2200 meters. Its ~5 meter length provides payload volume for mission-specific sensors, as well as the primary multibeam sonar and conductivity-temperature-density (CTD) sensor. Surveys greater than 150 km long and deployments over 36 hours in duration can be achieved.

The vehicle navigates using Doppler velocity log-aided inertial guidance. Acoustic communications provide continuous system status and allow limited operator influence on mission parameters. An independent acoustic tracking system monitors the vehicle’s position at all times.

A 200 kHz multibeam sonar generates seafloor images from an altitude of 50 meters providing significantly higher resolution bathymetry than can be achieved from ship-mounted systems.