A Design Methodology for UUVs Based on Mission-specific Energy Optimization

Project: Research project

Project Details


Published conceptual design methods for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) tend to focus on specific vehicle sizes and pre-selected power and propulsion technologies to reduce the size and complexity of the design space. This approach, while valid within the range of the assumptions applied, limits the user#s ability to compare feasible solutions of various sizes, configurations, and technologies to identify the vehicle best suited to achieve a desired mission or range of missions. Thus, the problem that this proposal seeks to solve is as follows: Given a set of candidate UUV technologies available, how does one design a UUV to best achieve a missionor class of missions? Inherent in this problem statement are the following fundamental questions: 1) What are the candidate technologies for UUV power, propulsion, and energy harvesting that should be considered? 2) How can one model, in a generalized way, the capabilities and mission performance of an integrated vehicle consisting of a specific selection of those technologies? And 3) what metrics can/should be used to quantify the#goodness# of a candidate design and how can the design process be automated to find the optimal system architecture and sizing for a given use case?The proposed research will address this gap by creating a conceptual designframework that leverages a modular, multi-domain modeling approach to optimize the UUV architecture and sizing for a transient mission. The resulting designs will be shown to provide the capabilities required of a given mission while meeting basic structural, stability, and maneuverability constraints, and minimizing vehicle volume using model-based dynamic optimization. Scaled hardware-in-the-loop experimental testbeds will be used to validate the proposed modeling, optimization, and control approaches.If successful, theoutcome from this research will be a fundamentally new design methodology for UUVs. This design methodology will be applied in a software tool for which the input is a representative payload and mission profile, and the output is a portfolio of optimized vehicle designs with custom tailored energy management strategies along with metrics to help the user compare the vehicle solutions. The approaches and insights developed could be applied in the design of future UUVs for the DoD.Approved for Public Release

Effective start/end date2/1/23 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $225,000.00


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