Underwater Vehicle Brings Kudos to Aerospace Team

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This squid-inspired autonomous underwater vehicle designed by CU aerospace seniors took a top prize at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences meeting in Orlando.

CU aerospace engineering students are designing vehicle systems not only for launch into space but also under the water. And they can thank squid for the key to their design.

Aerospace seniors Steven Wilson, Geoffrey Lake, Peter Klein, Albert Wu, Torin Clark, and S. Lawrence-Simon won the $1,000 International Student Conference Team Award for their autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences meeting in Orlando. Their AUV demonstrates a vortex ring thruster technology modeled on squid propulsion to maneuver itself.

The team previously received the award for "Best New Entry" in the 11th annual International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition in San Diego. The competition challenged students to design and build an AUV capable of navigating realistic underwater missions. Twenty-five teams from the United States, India, Canada, and Japan participated in the event, which was organized by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Office of Naval Research.

The student team was advised by Associate Professor Kamran Mohseni, whose work on vehicle systems includes mobile sensor networking platforms, bio-propulsion, and computational fluid mechanics, and Hanspeter Schaub, who also works in the areas of propulsion, dynamics, and control.

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