Universities to compete in second annual autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) competition

Start your AUVs - the Second Annual International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Competition is about to begin. This year's competition, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, will be held Aug. 6-8 at the Naval Systems Warfare Center's Coastal Systems Station in Panama City, Fla. The AUVs will be judged on their performance in a timed underwater course that tests their ability to maneuver through a series of gates, drop a marker on a designated target and return to a specified recovery zone. The press is invited to static judging on Saturday, and Sunday's competition is open to the public.

ONR's involvement in the event comes because of the Navy's interest in the development of capable AUVs and topnotch students to work on them. "As microprocessor, communication, energy and sensor technologies advance at an accelerating pace, more tasks of all sorts will be performed autonomously," said Dr. Tom Curtin, ONR's sponsor of the competition. This capability will have maximum impact on time critical and dangerous missions, such as ocean sampling in hazardous or inaccessible locations, undersea warfare and mine countermeasures. "The competition has been designed to stimulate and challenge a new generation of engineers to perform realistic missions in the challenging underwater environment," said Dr. Curtin.

Six university teams, including three returning competitors, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (last year's champions), Stevens Institute of Technology (last year's second place winners) and the University of Florida, and three new challengers, Florida Atlantic University, the U.S. Naval Academy Blue Team and the U.S. Naval Academy Gold Team, will compete for prizes totaling $10,000. Check the website for details: http://www.auvsi.org/auvsicc/auvcomp.htm .


Contact: Elizabeth Elliott
Office of Naval Research

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