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Solar Powered Autonomous Underwater Robot (SAUV)


ARLINGTON, VA – A new solar-powered underwater robot technology developed for undersea observation and water monitoring was showcased at a Sept. 16th workshop on leading-edge robotics held by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, VA. Arthur C. Sanderson, Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, presented the SAUV submersible robot. The SAUV program is under development by a team of research groups, including Rensselaer Polytechnic, and is led by the Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute directed by D. Richard Blidberg. Research sponsors include the NSF and Office of Naval Research.

The SAUV can submerge for up to 12 hours and dive to a depth of 500 meters. Its solar panel supports deployment for weeks at a time with realtime adaptive mission capability. The SAUV carries sensor systems that can be used for environmental monitoring as well as security and defense applications. Its computer systems provide for multi-vehicle cooperation and interconnectivity. The SAUV can cruise underwater at a speed of 2 knots. While on the surface, the solar panel can recharge the batteries in less than 8 hours.