The Flying Fish, an untethered oceanographic sensor platform with acoustic homing capability
Hoyt, Joshua King
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The Flying Fish is an autonomous, streamlined, gravity driven underwater vehicle of high speed (15 knots) vertical excursions to depths of 6000 meters. This prototype uses short baseline acoustic interferometry to guide itself to a monochromatic acoustic beacon at the surface. Phase difference measurements made on two orthogonal axes are used to deduce the relative bearing to the beacon. An autopilot uses this information to actuate control surfaces and correct vehicle attitude. This thesis describes the oceanographic context in which the vehicle will be used, translates the scientific mission into a set of coherent engineering specifications, describes a prototype design that meets these specifications, and demonstrates proof-of-concept with a series of sea trials. Some recommendations are made for future refinements.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution May 1986
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