Conducting research in lakes and rivers requires large crews and heavy-duty equipment, making even simple tests more costly and time consuming. Newer research methods are evolving constantly as new technology enables more precise and accessible experiments to be conducted. The need for simple execution of water-bound experiments exists and must be addressed to aid our understanding of these environments. We at the Microgravity Undergraduate Research Team have taken our previous research in autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and applied our efforts to relieving this problem. Our current research aims to provide a universal platform for research and experiments to be conducted in lakes and rivers, where we can then expand our efforts to more broad applications. The design allows for remote-control navigation by one user and easy portability. To address precision in experimentation, we have integrated autonomous GPS waypoint navigation which removes user error in sensitive measurements. The most important factor in its design is modularity; the ability to accommodate a wide range of equipment for research. Our platform succeeds in making water-bound experiments more accessible and more precise for a multitude of potential applications.
Eyer, Dillon J.; Leibowitz, Monica; White, Amanda; Vandeventer, Zachariah; Dyer, Heather; Byrd, Andrew; Nguyen, Dustin; Zimmerman, Terek; Sheldon, Hugh; Hill, Morgan; Bouchard, Jeremy; Mueller, Jessica M.; Torek, Adam; Cotton, Kalynn; Escobosa, Jose; Johnson, Tyler; Sundquist, Nathan; Lapa, Zuly; Olson, Ryan; Murrey, Carolyn; Maldonado, David; McConnehey, Aidan; Poe, Keaton; Luevanos, Libbie; Handzel, Andrew; Swanson, Steve; Engstrom, Gus; Gambs, Megan; and Uzer, Gunes, "Nautical Research Platform for Water-Bound Experiments" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 52.