Monday, January 17

Visit to Northrop Grumman Oceanic

Every year ES456 Autonomous Vehicles visits Northrop Grumman Oceanic, which sits right at the base of Annapolis side of the Chesapeake Bay. The facility makes a variety of unmanned underwater vehicles including the Advanced Seal Delivery system.

Here Systems Engineering students get a state for how system-level design decisions are made in industry, the hear from experts in many disciplines, and tour the extensive test facilities. In addition to learning about the theory behind unmanned vehicles, one of the goals of ES456 is to give students an appreciation for the state of the unmanned system's industry. Thanks to Northrop Grumman for graciously hosting us every year!

Tuesday, January 11


Each summer, USNA sends a team to compete in the AUVSI RoboSub (robotic submarine) competition in San Diego California. The team consists of firsties who do this as their capstone design project, and underclass who do it because it’s cool. The international field of competitors consists of high schoolers, undergrads, and graduate students from 20-30 schools in countries including the U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea, India, and Iceland. The competition consists of static judging, as well as in-water performance versus a variety of underwater objectives such as navigation, picking stuff up, dropping on or shooting at targets, and precision surfacing; all of which must be done completely autonomously (no human involvement).

This year USNA finished 2nd out of 21 schools, and collected a $5000 cash prize, on the strengths of their navigational skills, ability to dive and drive, and careful preparations. You can find more information about our 2011 campaign at robosub.org and at navyauv.esmartdesign.com , or by contacting CAPT Nicholson.

Monday, December 13

Capstone Projects: Quad Rotor

Autonomous Quadrotor Helicopter
by 1/C Fouquette, Griffith, Miller

We were inspired by videos like this (UPenn), to make our own quadrotor.

Here is the version we built for our capstone project. The quadrotor helicopter utilizes differential thrust to hover. For its control, the system utilizes an IMU, altitude sensor, and a combo of range sensors and a CMUcam (for translational motion).