Asymmetric Propulsion

Asymmetric Propulsion enables underwater vehicles with novel maneuvering capabilities not typically available from a streamlined UUV. With Asymmetric Propulsion, a vehicle can perform both surveys and inspections during a single deployment with minimal hardware and increased reliability.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) are designed to conduct efficient surveys over large areas of the ocean to locate areas of interest. However, detailed inspections of these areas require station-keeping and precise maneuvering. These detailed surveys typically require deploying an additional asset, such as a Remotely Operated Vehicle which can move slowly and hold position. Asymmetric Propulsion enables both efficient surveys over large areas and detailed inspection capabilities from a single underwater asset.

Asymmetric Propulsion works by varying the speed of a single-bladed propeller over the course of each rotation. This enables both thrust and steering from a single motor, improving low-speed maneuverability while eliminating the need for fins and additional motors for control. Asymmetric Propulsion technology was developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). ARMADA has collaborated with WHOI to further develop the technology for a range of applications. The propulsion solution ARMADA is bringing to market leverages the benefits of Asymmetric Propulsion to reduce the size, weight, drag, and complexity of propulsion solutions, all while creating a more robust, efficient, and capable system for UUV operators.

Payload Delivery

ARMADA's External Payload Delivery System (EPADS) enables underwater robots to autonomously deploy packages to the seafloor. EPADS is designed to be completely external to the robot: no mechanical modifications are required, and communication can be performed over the robot's native acoustic modem. The EPADS uses a patented technique to affect a zero net buoyancy change on the robot before and after deployment, meaning that the robot performance is minimally affected. ARMADA is currently partnering with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on a Phase II SBIR for the U.S. Navy with the goal of characterizing and optimizing the placement accuracy of this exciting new technology.