Faculty Advisor

Demetriou, Michael A.

Abstract

The objective of this project was to create a prototype of a low-power unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that resembles a jellyfish in appearance and mimics its movement. This task was completed via the design of a unique form of propulsion and by demonstrating underwater navigational control. The propulsion is achieved through the use of Nitinol "muscle wire" that shortens when heated by an electric current, thus contracting part of the shell of the mechanical jellyfish and creating a momentum flux that slowly propels the craft through the water. Navigation is achieved through the use of a photodiode array that senses an underwater optical light source. Controls on the craft determine which photodiode is closest to the light source and subsequently activate the collocated muscle wire.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2009

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Major

Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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