Uncrewed Systems Technology 051 l Primoco One 150 l Power management l Ocius Bluebottle USV l Steel E-Motive robotaxi l UAVs insight l Xponential 2023 p Issue 51 Aug/Sept 2023 art 2 l Aant Farm TPR72 l Servos l Tampa Deep Sea Barracuda AUV

110 Digest | Tampa Deep Sea Barracuda Operating System on a Ubuntu Linux distribution. The module also provides the Barracuda’s systems and sensors with I2C, USB, SCI and SPI interfaces. Currently, the autopilot is a system made by CubePilot, linked to a compatible GPS sensor for navigation updates at the surface and an inertial system once submerged. The baseline Barracuda is also fitted with a depth sensor from Blue Robotics, and a sonar altimeter from the same company is optional. At the moment, when running in autonomous mode, there is no communication with the surface, and all data is downloaded for processing after the vehicle has been recovered. However, it can be run with a tether that provides an Ethernet connection, and Tampa is working with the University of South Florida (USF) to develop two-way comms with the surface and with other Barracudas working in a swarm. On the base vehicle, mission sensors include a forward-facing stereo camera system of the company’s own design, which combines two low-light cameras with 1080p resolution and a Sony chipset. This serves as the sensor for the Barracuda’s object identification and obstacle avoidance system. Daum explains, “The stereo camera identifies objects and their relative position and distance. This is done using the Nvidia GPU and a trained model; we trained our model using PyTorch software. Distance and direction are then passed to the autopilot, which is programmed with an obstacle avoidance algorithm.” Larson says the processor can be trained using PyTorch (or similar) to recognise objects of interest, adding that the company plans to offer the vehicle with Nvidia’s Orin processor, which he says is about 30 times more capable than the Jetson Nano. Daum adds that Tampa has tested several iterations of the obstacle avoidance capability on a dedicated test vehicle. “It performs well at moderate speeds, around 3 mph. We have yet to test it at higher speeds.” The base vehicle also comes with an echo sounder that serves as an acoustic altimeter to measure the water depth below the vehicle, as well as a set of fins that can be swapped for ones equipped with sensors without changing the AUV’s balance or hydrodynamic characteristics. “That’s what you get for the $15,000 – the basic model plus the software needed to program and operate it,” Daum says. Daum notes that other sensors are left to customers to choose, and can come from a variety of vendors, including AML Oceanographic for example. “Of course, that adds more to the price, but for about $50,000 you can outfit the whole thing, and you are still well below the price of a medium-size AUV,” he says. August/September 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology To minimise pressure hull penetrations, all cables to externally mounted equipment meet waterproof connectors in the rear end cap. Fins can be replaced with versions that carry extra sensors Pool testing the Barracuda to determine the effects on vehicle performance of the ARC Scout MkII sidescan sonar, which will be offered as an option on production examples