In the two years, CUAUV has started using our vehicles to run research missions in Cayuga lake in addition to competition. This additional focus has give the team a new set of challenges and requirements to design for. for the past two years, we have run summer lake serveys with the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom Project to assess the vegetation growth and temperature profiles in the lake at different points in the summer.
For more pictures from our Floating Classroom surveys, visit our Floating Classroom gallery.
Why Do Lake Testing?
|Lake testing gives the team experience working in harsher environments and tests vehicle reliability beyond what is possible in a swimming pool. Since CUAUV's primary testing facility is Teagle pool, Cayuga lake also provides a less ideal environment to test vision in, one that more closely simulates conditions at TRANSDEC. It also gives the team something to work for beyond the AUVSI Competition, providing a wealth of new design goals and challenges. Since the team has had three years of vehicles with reliable power, sealing and serial infrastructures, future challenges lie not in building power, sealing and serial infrastructure but in using vehicles as platforms for sensing and searching in a broader operating environment.|
Team History in Open Water
|The September 12, 2008 Wells College lake test was CUAUV's first open water run since the team got its 2002 vehicle stuck in bottom mud in the Chesapeake Bay during the 2002 AUVSI AUV competition. That experience was traumatic enough to make the team unwilling to risk vehicles in open water testing for many years. The two Wells College tests in Fall of 2008 reassured team members that, with proper precautions, open water tests are not dangerous to the vehicle. They also gave the team experience dealing with some of the challenges of open water, including waves, wind, weeds, and bright sunlight. In the summer of 2009, CUAUV did its first boat deployments for lake bottom surveys with the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom Project.|
Floating Classroom Project
CUAUV is working with the Floating Classroom Project to study the ecology in Cayuga Lake. Four times during the summer of 2010 and three times during summer 2009, CUAUV is doing visual surveys of Macrophyte growth in the southwest end of the lake. From the images it is possible to put together a chronology of vegetation growth throughout the summer. In addition to video of the plant growth and composition, Tachyon is able take temperature profiles over its entire run, showing themoclines at different times and in different conditions.
|As our platforms continue to mature, we hope to continue to expand our research focus to other things. Though our current sensor package restricts us to temperature sensing and visual survey missions, we hope to acquire more sensors, such as am image sonar, to extend our purview into deeper waters. Tachyon is designed to take an imaging sonar, and fitted with a fiber optic tether to allow for long range missions. Working with the floating classroom project has given the team confidence in working off of the back of a boat, and reduced fears of deep water testing.|