The Autonaut, a 0.5 metre long autonomous energy harvesting system, was tested outside Portsmouth, UK. The wave foils on the Autonaut passively harvest energy from the pitch and roll of waves at sea ensuring that the generated power is available for the craft’s piloting computer and sensor payloads.
The testing, which used state-of-the-art motion capture systems, allowed the developers to validate the speed and motion scaling calculations from previous testings as well as provided them an opportunity to test new foil wave configurations. As a result, they were able to collect high resolution speed and 6-axis motion data.
Dan Alldis, design manager at MOST (Autonomous Vessels), the company which created the craft, said: “This round of testing allowed us to validate our speed and motion scaling calculations from previous testing, and provided us with a chance to test new wave foil configurations.”
“We tested in wave heights up to 60cm and saw speeds upwards of 3.5kt which is very encouraging. We aim to collect further performance data in ‘real’ waves off Plymouth this summer as we go into the second phase of our surveillance capability trials.”
Alldis continued: “This was a great opportunity to test a full size AutoNaut in controlled conditions, providing an extremely valuable dataset assisting with our ongoing 5m vessel development.“
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Source: AutoNaut USV