Hydrodynamic Modeling for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Using Computational and Semi-Empirical Methods
Buoyancy driven underwater gliders, which locomote by modulating their buoyancy and their attitude with moving mass actuators and inflatable bladders, are proving their worth as efficient long-distance, long-duration ocean sampling platforms. Gliders have the capability to travel thousands of kilometers without a need to stop or recharge. There is a need for the development of methods for hydrodynamic modeling. This thesis aims to determine the hydrodynamic parameters for the governing equations of motion for three autonomous underwater vehicles. This approach is two fold, using data obtained from computational flight tests and using a semi-empirical approach. The three vehicles which this thesis focuses on are two gliders (Slocum and XRay/Liberdade), and a third vehicle, the Virginia Tech Miniature autonomous underwater vehicle.