M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentShambi Dotan
SubjectElectrical System Engineering for a Small Autonomous
Underwater Vehicle
DepartmentDepartment of Autonomous Systems and Robotics
Supervisors ASSOCIATE PROF. Reuven Katz
PROF. Arnon Gilan
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Autonomous vehicles have experienced a big growth in the last years, thanks to the significant improvements in the electrical, mechanical and software technologies that took place in the past few decades.

The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology - has decided to join some of the leading academic institutes in the world and develop an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), as a students’ project. The project objectives are: gaining a foothold in the arena of autonomous underwater vehicles, creating a platform for deep-sea research projects and training a cadre of engineers in the relevant disciplines. Three goals have been defined to the project: lay an acoustic beacon at a prescribed location on the seabed, enable high-resolution photography of the seabed and serve other deep-sea research projects to the extent possible.

Development of such AUV is a lengthy, challenging process, of which a dedicated team had to be formed. The project team consisted of project manager (faculty professor), chief systems engineer (adjunct fellow) and graduate / under-graduate students: electrical / electronic systems engineer and lead engineers of software, navigation, control, simulation, communication, propulsion / steering and structural design. Faculty professors from the Technion and from Haifa University, School of Marine Science, provide supervision and consultancy in specific areas.

The development stages, from inception to prototype, were as follows:

      Study the AUV world: which AUVs have been developed and by whom? what are their capabilities?;

      Review and formulate the requirements from the Technion AUVs;

      Develop the AUV configuration and architecture (breakdown  into sub-systems);

      Define sub-system requirements (electrical, mechanical, software);

      Implement each sub-system;

      Integrate the sub-systems into one complete system which complies with the predefined requirements.

The author's tasks during these stages were:

      Study the electrical systems of AUVs from the world.

      Participate in the review and formulation of AUV requirements.

      Be the AUVs' electrical authority and help the chief system engineer in electrical issues;

      Develop the AUV architecture and define the interfaces between all the AUV components;

      Define electrical / electronic requirements for each of the AUV sub-systems;

      Design the electrical "sliced" diagrams: Power diagram, communications diagram, discretes diagram, wiring diagram.

      Define goals and priorities in the design of electrical / electronic sub-systems and select the optimal solution considering the global system;

      Develop, perform and control the Integration Master Plan (IMP) and Integration Master Schedule (IMS).