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The paper describes the current evolution of the class of FoÂ¿laga underwater vehicles, whose actuation mechanism is a hybrid between oceanographic gliders and standard, self-propelled autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The FoÂ¿laga vehicles have been designed for coastal oceanography and environmental sampling; the application-oriented design approach has resulted in light-weight, low-cost, low-maintenance vehicles. A description of the vehicles' design and guidance, navigation and control capabilities is given, together with data from recent experimental trials.
Date of Publication: March 2010