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Composite Pressure Hulls for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

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2 Author(s)
T. James Osse ; University of Washington, Box 355351, Seattle, WA 98195-5351 ; Timothy J. Lee

A program to extend the operating depth of Seaglider from 1000 m to 6000 m began in 2002 at the University of Washington. The Deepglider program used carbon fiber composites for the pressure hull because of their ability to achieve weight to displacement ratios of less than 0.5. Advanced fabrication technology, more common in the aerospace industry, allowed the pressure hull to be identical to the shape of the Seaglider AUV so that many of the Seaglider components could be used on Deepglider. In this paper, we describe the development of the carbon fiber/epoxy pressure hull, including material characterization, the design of the interlaminar shear control sleeve, and pressure testing of six pressure vessels. Three of these hulls used a unique tapering diameter, tapering wall thickness construction. A more complete description of the Deepglider program is provided in a companion paper.

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Date of Conference:

Sept. 29 2007-Oct. 4 2007