Title page for ETD etd-08262010-154955

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Duelley, Richard Skyler
URN etd-08262010-154955
Title Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Propulsion Design
Degree Master of Science
Department Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Neu, Wayne L. Committee Chair
Philen, Michael K. Committee Member
Woolsey, Craig A. Committee Member
  • AUV
  • OpenProp
  • Efficiency
  • Propulsion
  • Propeller
  • NeuMotor
Date of Defense 2010-08-12
Availability unrestricted
The goal of this design process was to achieve the most efficient propulsive system for the candidate autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) as possible. A mathematical approach, using fundamental motor equations and derived quantities, was used to characterize and select an efficient brushless electric motor for the propulsion system. A program developed at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, called OpenProp versions 1 and 2.3 was utilized to design a custom propeller that maximizes the efficiency of the system.

A brushless electric motor was selected for the candidate AUV based on a survey of available off the shelf motors and a mathematical characterization process. In parallel with the motor characterization a propeller design was optimized using OpenProp v1 to perform a parametric analysis. OpenProp v2.3 was then used to design a unique propeller for the selected motor. The propeller design resulted in a final propeller with an efficiency of 79.93%. The motor characterization process resulted in two candidate motors being selected, the NeuMotor 1925-3Y and NeuMotor 1521-10.5Y, for in house testing and evaluation. A total propulsive system efficiency of between 44% and 46% was achieved depending on which motor is selected for the final design.

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