WAM-V "Top Cat"

Our combined team nicknamed "Team TopCat" has developed a vessel based on the WAM-V hull with an eye to future research capabilities as well as competing in the upcoming RobotX Challenge.  As such we have developed a number of capabilities shown below and by combining the data from these sensors we believe that our vessel will be a very capable platform for research in both autonomous systems and environmental monitoring.

 

Propulsion

Driven by a pair of independently steerable Torqeedo Cruise 2R electric outboards, the vessel has a predicted top speed of around eleven knots.  It mounts 7.8 kWhr of batteries giving it a long endurance.  These batteries are split between a pair of engine pods keeping the centre of gravity low.

 

engine module

battery modules

Sensors

Camera

We have mounted a Basler Ace camera with a wide angle Theia lens.  The camera is capable of very short exposures and has a global shutter allowing it to operate with very small distortion due to motion, while the lens lacks the barrel distortion common in fish eye lenses.  

LIDAR

Our SICK LMS 511 LIDAR is capable of up to 80m range allowing it to perceive targets well ahead of the vehicle.  An outdoor LIDAR system, it is resistant to blinding by sunlight.  Mounted on a tilting assembly, it can be trained on an object of interest or actuated for volumetric scanning.  

RADAR

The Navico 4G broadband RADAR is capable of both object detection and mapping at long range.
 

Proximity

A Leddar is16 proximity sensor is used to detect nearby objects to prevent possible collisions.

In-water sensor

The WAM-V carries an in-water deployment system designed to support a 10kg payload.  Currently carrying an array of hydrophones to allow detection of a pinger in the competition, it's extra capacity will be used for research payloads.  This system can retract payloads when not in use to prevent damage and save on drag.  

GPS and heading

Our vessel uses a Trimble R10 GPS sensor for localisation.  This is combined with a microstrain Attitude Heading reference System to localise the position of the vehicle.