Design, construction, and initial testing of an autonomous surface vehicle for riverine and coastal reconnaissance
von Ellenrieder KD
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This paper outlines the development and initial testing of the Nereus autonomous surface vehicle. Conceived specifically as a system for riverine and coastal observation, the ASV is capable of transmitting real-time audio and visual surveillance to a shoreside base station. In addition, Nereus is designed to transmit situational awareness data including, but not limited to, vehicle speed, position, and heading, as well as water depth and basic bathymetry. The vehicle consists of a catamaran platform with brushless DC motors housed in each hull. Driving four bladed propellers contained within Kort nozzles, the two motors produce differential thrust for all maneuvering. Control is provided by an LPC 2138 development board interfaced with a student-designed RS-232 multiplexer and power distribution board, and an infrared security camera and directional long range microphone to provide operators with real-time observations of a desired target both day and night. This paper discusses the motivation and necessity for the project, comments on initial modeling, performance prediction, and key aspects of the design, and concludes by presenting preliminary test results.