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A power control architecture for computing intense autonomous undersea sensor systems

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3 Author(s)
Hrinko, S.M. ; Gen. Dynamics Adv. Inf. Syst., Greensboro, NC, USA ; Price, D.M. ; Gerhard, A.R.

Our team recently developed a battery-operated autonomous undersea sensor system capable of performing, at predefined times, various computing intense operations over a several month period. Our sensor system allows for connection of a variety of traditional ocean observing sensors as well as up to 200 deep water acoustic sensors. Our system is unique in that it is powered completely from rechargeable batteries and is capable of being moved from location to location as needed. In contrast, similar, larger, sensor systems often require complex high voltage distribution schemes and are fixed to the ocean floor. In developing our autonomous sensor system, we employed several “low power” architectural and software design approaches, all while adhering to a commitment to follow accepted industry standards and utilize Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components, when appropriate. This paper discusses the high-level architecture of our sensor system, some of the power control techniques used in developing our sensor system, and ways we are looking to further extend operation time. We also briefly discuss how our sensor system may work well when combined with energy harvesting technology, such as solar or wave power.

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Date of Conference:

20-23 Sept. 2010