BWSI Course - Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Challenge

Program Overview

Many of the final frontiers of exploration on Earth are underwater – the deep oceanwater-filled cave systems, and under Antarctic ice shelves . Exploring the farthest reaches of these areas requires underwater piloted or semi-autonomous vehicles. Hydrostatic pressure, dynamic currents, darkness, curious sea creatures and slimy bacteria make underwater places difficult to navigate. True underwater autonomy is difficult to achieve, and even the most advanced piloted vehicles are frequently lost. This course will introduce students to the challenges faced by real-world ocean engineers in designing, building and programming autonomous underwater autonomous vehicles (AUVs). The culmination of the summer course will be an exciting test of true autonomy – the student AUVs will autonomously navigate a simulated underwater obstacle course, applying real-time decision making based on feedback from onboard sensors. 

Course topics

    • Vehicle control 
    • Sensor integration (software) 
    • Data analysis 
    • Image processing 
    • Autonomy 
    • Python (basic)
    • Physics (any level) 
    • Linear algebra (any level) 

    Summer Course Outline

    Week 1

    • Introduction to marine autonomy
    • Setting up computing environment
    • Foundational tools – linux, vim, C++, cmake

    Week 2

    • Single-vehicle autonomous operations
    • Mission analysis
    • Writing your own sensor-driven behavior
    • Individual project

    Week 3

    • Multi-vehicle autonomous operations
    • Individual challenge problem
    • Final challenge team formation

    Week 4

    • AUV Final Challenge execution