CUAUV Missions: Overview
Over the past twelve years, CUAUV has built nine different fully functional Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. For most of this history, vehicle missions were focused entirely around the AUVSI AUV competition. This competition combines visual, acoustic and navigational tasks into an underwater obstacle course that the vehicle must complete autonomously. Recently, CUAUV has also been running missions as a part of the Floating Classroom Project to study Macrophyte growth in Cayuga lake. CUAUV also conducts many volunteer and outreach activities geared at increasing interest in math, science, and engineering in the community.
One of CUAUV’s primary objectives each year is to successfully complete the competition mission for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Teams from around the world compete at this annual event, which takes place each summer at the TRANSDEC Facility in San Diego, California. Completing the competition requires each vehicle to autonomously execute a sequence of tasks while remaining fully submerged. Missions for this competition include visual and acoustic tasks.
For pictures from last year's competition, visit the Competition Image Gallery.
For images of the competition elements through our cameras, visit the Underwater Pictures Image Gallery.
On the 22nd of October, CUAUV along with a research group from SUNY Cortland, and members of the Ithaca High School Robotics Team boarded the Floating Classroom Project and set course for the mouth of Cayuga Lake. The purpose of our visit was to observe the effectiveness of an herbicide in deterring the spread of Hydrilla, an invasive plant species, to the mouth of Cayuga Lake. The vehicle was deployed in two locations and sent to a maximum depth of 12 meters in order to observe the lake bottom. No Hydrilla was seen from our dives; additionally, it appeared that other plant life remained unaffected by the herbicide. Our vehicle's voyage concluded by inspecting the propeller of the Floating Classroom Project.
Here is a video containing footage taken by the vehicle:
For more information on the Floating Classroom Project, click on the link below:
In addition to our technical activities and missions, CUAUV also conducts number of outreach programs each year. These programs are a good way to give back to the community and to improve team moral. Some of our outreach activities in the last year include a workshop for 80 junior girl scouts, two 8 week afterschool programs at a local elementary school, a presentation at the Ithaca Sciencenter, and participation in several Diversity Programs in Engineering events.