DESIGN AND SYSTEM IDENTIFICATION OF A LOW-COST USV FOR COASTAL OBSERVATION
Monitoring areas near shore is often performed using unmanned surface vehicles but can be hampered by high cost and complexity. Existing vehicles can be expensive and difficult to operate. Recent development of consumer- and hobbyist-oriented marine hardware and control software have enabled the creation of vehicles that solve these problems. In this project, a low-cost, SUP-based USV was constructed and proved itself to be portable and capable of performing surveys at several sites in Rhode Island, with an approximate cost and vehicle mass of $3,500 and 20 kilograms respectively. It was also evaluated to determine its hydrodynamic properties and its response to wind disturbances in yaw. Analysis of maneuvering trials performed with the vehicle generated accurate hydrodynamic coefficients and preliminary characterization of the relationship between vehicle yaw and wind conditions.