A potential design (but not really)

21 01 2007

Here are four different angles of the original CAD mock-up for SubjuGator:

right side

bottom

front view from top left

left side, nose facing down

 

The original idea called for two tubes, connected by a series of wet plugs, mounted to a metal frame. The DVL would hang below a strafing thruster. When we designed this version, our goal was a compartmentalized submersible with a diverse range of motion. One compartment would house all the electronics while the other carried the batteries (which add significant amounts of weight to smaller subs). The metal frame, somewhat incomplete in these drawings, would support both the sub (while on land), and it would also act as a mounting point for the various sensors we forsaw ourselves possibly using in the future.

Needless to say, this design exhibited some unignorable problems. Firstly, it’s a bad idea to mount thrusters to removable endcaps. No one wants to disconnect and reconnect the thruster every time they require access to the sub’s innards. Next, two tubes spells added complexity, more circuity, and a mess of external cables. Each motor is attached via wet plug/cable combo and each tube must be wired to the next in order to transfer power and/or data. Apart from the mess of external lines to each thruster and submersible sensor, the conversion plugs required inside each tube wastes valuable space. Furthermore, we based the design on the assumption that the DVL unit (sans power supply) was fully submersible and should hang from the center of the turning radius (so turning in place yields no acceleration). It turns out that the DVL must rest partly in a dry hull.

So now, the trend has returned to a healthy, one-tube design. Though, this year, SubjuGator will be longer, stronger, and more capable.

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