Assembling the AUV
On the first day of the Thunder Bay 2010 expedition, the Applied Research Laboratories with the University of Texas at Austin (ARL:UT) team flew into, Michigan, from Austin, Texas. After arriving late in the afternoon, the explorers began to assemble the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in the work area provided by NOAA’s Thunder Bay Sanctuary.
The equipment was shipped to Thunder Bay on five pallets of crates and boxes. The AUV was divided into four parts: the tail-section with the propulsion motor and fins, the vehicle electronics and batteries section, the sonar processing computers and batteries section, and the sonar nose section.
After the assembly is complete, the AUV will be connected to a local-area computer network and tested to determine if all vehicle, sonar, mechanical, and electrical components survived the trip to Alpena. Finally, the AUV’s batteries are charged overnight for the next day’s in-water tests.