"AUVSA: Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) for Scientific Applications" Workshop

A conference to Promote Dialog Between AUV Developers, Engineers and Science Users


June 6-7, 2006

H Singh, L Mayer (UNH), C German, LWhitcomb(JHU), M Tivey, T Shank

Meeting Date & Location:
June 6 - Quissett Campus, Clark 507
June 7th - Village Campus, Redfield Auditorium


WHOI Deep Ocean Exploration Institute
NSF Engineering

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have, in the past decade, reached a high level of maturity in their application to marine geological, biological, chemical, and physical oceanographic problems. A variety of scientific and commercial AUVs have been designed, built and deployed for scientific applications from shallow water to 11,000 m depths. However, the broad scientific community has not been exposed to an up-to-date review of the relative merits of using different kinds of AUVs for different applications. In order to best plan and propose a wide range of field research employing AUV technology, - not least in support of forthcoming Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) activities - the range of subjects that need to be addressed include:

  • depth ratings, operational capabilities and costs of AUVs available to science
  • pros and cons of various hull designs (e.g., torpedo shaped vs multi-hulled)
  • available sensor packages (resolution, power requirements, operational guidelines)
  • science requirements versus operational requirements in AUV missions
  • optimization of AUV characteristics for different types of operation/investigation (e.g., near-bottom bathymetry/geophysics, mid-water water column sensing, near-bottom photography)
  • vertical integration of sensors, platforms and algorithms into finished science products

In order to address the topics presented above and provide a forum for discussion between AUV researchers and scientists, the planned 2-day workshop at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will bring together leading developers of scientific AUVs with leading scientific users. The AUVSA Workshop will be followed by special sessions at the Fall American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco in December 2006.