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Ocean Robotics & Underwater Communications

Underwater Optical Communications

These Underwater Optical Communications provide a reconfigurable, long-range, optical modem-based underwater communication network. In particular, the network provides low power, low cost, and easy to deploy underwater optical communication system capable of being operated at long distances.

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Multi-Carrier Underwater Acoustic Communications

The Multi-Carrier Underwater Acoustic Communication System uses a two-step approach to mitigate frequency-dependent Doppler drifts for zero-padded OFDM transmissions over fast-varying channels. The system is based on block-by-block processing and does not rely on channel dependence across OFDM blocks. Thus, the system is applicable for fast-varying UWA channels.

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Long Range Fiber Optic Data Communications

The system includes a cabled ocean observatory deployed underwater and connected to a surface buoy. The fiber optic extension modules can be permanently attached to each end of the fiber optic cables and include an optical transceiver, a power supply, and an inductive element for removably coupling an underwater sensor or the cabled ocean observatory to the fiber optic cable.

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High Efficiency Marine Thruster

This thruster utilizes recent advances in motor winding technology. The electric motor is enclosed within a waterproof, oil-filled housing attached by an integrated drive shaft to the outer surface of the thruster through multiple high-grade bearings and seals. The result is a durable, efficient design with a low noise signature. In addition, off-the-shelf motor controllers allow operators to take continuous advantage of rapid improvements in the motor controller industry. Offering proven performance through field testing, this thruster is meant for use on any aquatic vehicle (preferably submersibles) and is rated for use at depths of up to 11,000 m.

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Dynamic Electric Motor

This technology is a novel Brushless DC (BLDC) motor system. The design is intended to decouple the torque constant from the speed constant in the BLDC motor system. This allows efficient torque and speed to be independent. The system couples two BLDC motors to a single shaft, with the first motor optimized for torque and coupled via a sprag bearing clutch. The second motor is optimized for speed and is directly coupled to the shaft. The outcome is a motor that is efficient over a large operating range

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Doppler Shift Navigation

Swarm intelligence is a collective behavior composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralized control and self-organization – typically used in aircrafts and drones because of the access to GPS, high data rates, and low-cost hardware. Integration into underwater swarming intelligence has been stagnant due to limited access to GPS, Wi-Fi, expensive navigation, and low data rate communications. WHOI scientists and engineers developed a family of innovations to generate successful underwater swarming capabilities.

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