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Naval Engineering Support Team For The Auvsi/Onr Auv Competition

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Educational Outreach Efforts Led by the US Navy

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.919.1 - 13.919.9



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Paper Authors


Damien Bretall NSWC

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Damien Bretall first began work at the Naval Surface Warfare Center as an intern in 2005. He has assisted with testing towed, underwater, and aircraft systems in the Marine and Aviation Department, including laser based experiments to evaluate the flow field around Navy vehicles and sensors. Recently, he completed his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, focusing on Mechanics of Materials and the deformation of plates due to buried explosives.

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Deborah Furey NSWC

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Naval Engineering Support Team for the AUVSI/ONR AUV Competition


Robotics technology excites young people and fills them with ideas of possibility. Underwater robotics has an added element of difficulty and challenge that students accept and thrive on. Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is a foundation that has for decades encouraged the spread of unmanned vehicle technology both through professional conferences and student educational competitions. This group, together with the Office of Naval Research, has supported for the past 10 years a very successful international competition where student teams design, build and swim their own underwater robots called autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV). The competition involves designing and building an instrumented vehicle that will sense and respond to the underwater environment while completing an established set of challenges or tasks. In some cases, the biggest challenge is keeping the water on the outside of the vehicle!

Recently, with the support of ONR, there has been established a group of Navy engineers with diverse backgrounds to support and provide experience to the teams competing in the AUV competition. This ONR initiative intends to encourage the development of new engineers in order to instill the importance of naval engineering in the next generation. Representatives from around the United States work together to provide common guidance for new teams just joining the competition as well as detailed feedback on systems or hardware problems experienced by teams during the course of their vehicle development. Navy representatives include team members from the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Carderock, Maryland, NSWC Panama City, Florida, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, NUWC in Keyport, Washington, and Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center in San Diego, California. This group, called the Naval Engineering Support Team (NEST), has developed a collection of documents to help the teams with some of the vehicle technologies and competition logistics that could help them have a better competition experience. A primer document consisting of brief engineering reviews of relevant technologies such as hydrodynamics, propulsor systems, computers and underwater sensing has been completed and is available through the AUVSI website. Also, NEST is currently assembling a library of hardware for the teams to borrow during the year to assist them in developing their vehicle and to help them decide on types of components they might be interested in using in their platforms. NEST also conducts site visits to engage with the teams and provide additional interaction. One or two NEST members travel to individual schools or sites where the team has their vehicle to see their progress and provide information and feedback where possible. This paper presents the concept behind NEST and discusses the structure, operation and benefits that are hoped to be provided through this effort.

Bretall, D., & Furey, D. (2008, June), Naval Engineering Support Team For The Auvsi/Onr Auv Competition Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3328

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