An Analysis of Undersea Glider Architectures and an Assessment of Undersea Glider Integration into Undersea Applications
Barker, William P.
Osmundson, John S.
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Currently, buoyancy driven underwater gliders are deployed globally to gather oceanographic data from across the worlds oceans. This thesis examines the utility of underwater gliders within the context of providing additional U.S. Navy capabilities. An extensive survey of available underwater gliders was undertaken and the resultant survey pool of ten gliders down selected to five gliders of fixed wing configuration. A comprehensive architectural analysis was then conducted of seven key architectural attributes of the five selected gliders. The architectural analysis compared various implementations of the key architectural attributes relative to desirable traits and capabilities for a notional U.S. Navy glider. Following the architectural analysis a proposed architecture for a U.S. Navy underwater glider was developed which includes a compendium of best features gleaned from the architectural analysis. Drivers and rationale for selection of specific key architectural attributes and features are also provided. Additionally, a comparison of constraints and capabilities of underwater gliders is provided. Finally, a comparison of the current and proposed capabilities of underwater gliders versus other Autonomous Undersea Vehicles, specifically Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, is proffered.
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