Design Concept of Tsukuyomi

– Underwater Glider Prototype for Virtual Mooring –
Kenichi Asakawa1), Masahiko Nakamura2), Taiyo Kobayashi1), Yoshitaka Watanabe1), Tadahiro Hyakudome1), Yuzuru Ito3) and Junichi Kojima4)
1) Observing System Research and Technical Development Unit, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology 2-15, Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan 2) Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University 6-1 Kasuga-kouen, Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan 3) Ocean Engineering Research, Inc. 503, Koshin Build., Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0075, Japan 4) KDDI R&D Laboratories 2-1-15, Ohara, Fujimino, Saitama 356-8502, Japan
Abstract- The design concept of a prototype underwater glider “Tsukuyomi” for virtual mooring is described. It uses a buoyancy engine for propulsion as it ascends and descends between the seafloor and the ocean surface to monitor the underwater environment. Its maximum operating depth is 3,000 m. It can sleep for a fixed time on seafloor to extend the observation period. We have already conducted towing-tank tests using a half-sized model to evaluate its hydrodynamic characteristics.



The ocean is well known to influence global climate strongly. Its heat capacity is a thousand times greater than that of the atmosphere. It absorbs about 30 % of the emitted carbon dioxide. To understand the nature of global warming, the ocean environment has been monitored using many means including profiling floats, moored buoys, ships, and satellites. However, because of its vastness, it is difficult to gather sufficient data even using all of these methods. The Argo project is a breakthrough in oceanography. This international project, to which many countries currently

contribute, has about 3,000 Argo floats distributed worldwide, as presented in Fig. 1. These floats monitor the ocean environment down to 2,000 m depth over four years. Nevertheless, it is difficult to increase their number to cover all oceans with adequate density because of the vastness of the world’s oceans. They cannot remain in a designated area where data are needed because they float with seawater. In addition, the change of seawater temperature has been observed even in waters deeper than 2,000 m where seawater temperatures are stable. Fig. 2 [1] portrays an example that shows an increase in seawater temperature deeper than 2,000 m. This example underscores the necessity of monitoring the ocean environment in waters that are deeper than 2,000 m. Other methods such as artificial satellites, moored buoys, and research vessels are used. These methods have their respective limitations. Artificial satellites are suited for gathering wide-range data, but they cannot monitor the underwater environment. Moored buoys can carry out long-

Figure 1 Distribution of Argo floats as of March 13, 2011. From 3,214 Argo floats are distributed and operating all over the world as of March 13, 2011

Figure 2 [1] Rise in averaged seawater temperature at 155ºE – 170ºE, 40ºN – 50ºN, in the northern Pacific, 4,500–5,200 m in water depth during 1984–2000.

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Splay [4]. It is to save energy to inflate the bladder under high water pressure. we were unable to use Iridium because of sea ice in these areas. In fact. it glides through the water. The obtained data should be merged with computer simulations to elucidate the behavior of the whole ocean. even under ice. and their surrounding oceans are presumed to belong to key areas where seawater descends and starts to circulate in deep water throughout the world. the Arctic Ocean. For example. a god of Japanese mythology. In this acoustic positioning system. Consequently it ascends slowly. They can travel autonomously over long distances gathering ocean data at a reasonable cost. 3 shows the operation image of Tsukuyomi. their operating duration is shorter than one year. They cannot provide long-term data as Argo floats or moored buoys can. Tsukuyomi can sleep near the seafloor similarly to Argo floats. Fig. Antarctic Ocean. and Tsukuyomi only receives acoustic signals. However. Making good use of wings.400 mm. we are developing a new acoustic positioning system with which Tsukuyomi can determine its own location. The first sea trial is scheduled for spring 2012. Argo floats and satellites are needed to monitor the whole ocean efficiently. to obtain data effectively with limited resources. It might not able to control its attitude. At present in Japan. Therefore. Yamaguchi [10]. moored buoy systems. and Nakamura [11].term monitoring at a fixed point. Masuda et al. A large and heavy acoustic transducer to emit acoustic signals is not necessary on the vehicle. Figure 3 Operation image of Tsukuyomi when it is used under ice sea. It can sleep for a fixed time on the seafloor to extend the observation period. Kawaguchi et al. [1] showed by computer simulation that increased heat input into the Southern Ocean off the Adélie Coast engenders bottom-water warming in the North Pacific on a short time scale (within four decades). It compensates the amount of drift as it glides in the water. should be focused on key areas where environmental variation appears characteristically in early stages. Kato [9]. However. 3 portrays an image of its operation under sea ice. To overcome this issue. plural acoustic reference stations on the seafloor emit synchronized acoustic signals intermittently. Arima [8]. governs nights and tides. it can provide long-term data from the seafloor to the ocean surface over the course of a year. They are now recognized as innovative devices that are expected to provide valuable data to oceanographers that cannot be obtained otherwise. Underwater gliders for virtual mooring will provide a promising means to meet those goals. Thereby. It can control its direction by moving batteries in the watertight housing to change the gravity center and its attitude. and their surrounding oceans should be among the key areas for monitoring. and Slocum [5] have drawn attention and have been used widely. They control their attitude and direction of movement by moving the position of their gravity center or by using rudders and elevators. Osse et al. Its weight in air and length are about 140 kg and 2. They also use wings to glide through seawater. respectively. it draws sufficient oil from the bladder to the oil reservoir in the pressure-tight housing so that it can acquire adequate velocity to control its moving direction. Kuroshio and its extension apparently constitute another key area to be monitored. the Arctic Ocean. As described in the Introduction. Tsukuyomi can dive to 3.000 m depth. and communicates via Iridium. similarly to profiling floats. [7] developed the underwater glider ALBAC in 1995.000 m. It is also difficult to increase their number because of their costs of construction and maintenance. Research vessels can only provide a limited range of data. Before descending from the surface. We have conducted towingtank tests using a half-sized model to evaluate its hydrodynamic characteristics. Tsukuyomi. . It has been pointed out that next-generation ocean observation systems. have engaged in research related to underwater gliders. It uses a buoyancy engine for propulsion. Underwater gliders [2] such as Seaglider [3]. When ascending. [6] reported the development of Deepglider. Tsukuyomi can stay in designated waters for more than one year to monitor the ocean environment. Plural platforms including gliders for virtual mooring. Antarctic Ocean. it pushes out the oil in the reservoir to the bladder little-by-little according to its depth. The goal of this project is to illustrate the possibility of underwater gliders for use in virtual mooring. the objective maximum depth of which was 6. it drift with seawater while ascending. OPERATION IMAGE OF TSUKUYOMI Fig. The basic design is completed. but they cannot monitor depths from the seabed to the ocean surface. When floating at the water surface. Underwater gliders use buoyancy engines for propulsion. II. it obtains its own position using GPS. We are now developing a prototype of the underwater glider “Tsukuyomi” for virtual mooring that can conduct long-term monitoring in designated waters.

The energy efficiency is better than 40% at pressure higher than 30 MPa as depicted in Fig.150 mm and 159 mm. It consists of a hydraulic piston pump and valves.Bladder Reservoir Two-way Valve Three-way Valve Piston Pump Pressure-tight Housing Figure 4 Photograph of the buoyancy engine [12]. Figure 5 Basic hydraulic circuit of the buoyancy engine. 5 respectively show photo and the basic hydraulic circuit. A two-way valve was added to the original configuration to enhance the indrawing speed of the oil from the bladder into the reservoir while Tsukuyomi is floating at the surface. ◇ : power efficiency ○: mechanical work to external pressure ●: energy consumption Figure 8 Main wings. Fig. . Figure 6 Power efficiency of the buoyancy engine [12]. 1. The cycle time is about four minutes. III. 4 and Fig. We adopted the buoyancy engine [12] that was developed for profiling floats applicable to deep waters. BUOYANCY ENGINE The buoyancy engine is an important device that strongly influences the Tsukuyomi performance. We have confirmed that the leaks of these valves are negligible: Tsukuyomi will be able to stay in deeper waters for more than several days. The piston’s cylinder volume is 50 cm3. Figure 7 Half-sized models for towing-tank tests The length and the diameter of the barrel is. 6 [12]. respectively. We have also confirmed that it Figure 9 Vertical tail wings.

and 7. 5 m width. The results of forced oscillation tests will be reported soon. For that purpose. We have made and compared three main wings and two vertical tail wings presented respectively in Fig. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM The objective of Tsukuyomi is to exemplify the ability of underwater gliders for virtual mooring. 9. We finally adopted the wings portrayed in Fig. V. 7 and a long towing-tank of 6 m length. the electric system should have long-term reliability. has good durability even under high pressure. 7. 7. with low . 8 and Fig. IV. A rolling diaphragm will be used for the reservoir. [13]. The pressure-tight housing will be partially evacuated so that the oil in the bladder is drawn into the reservoir when the twoway valve is open at the sea-surface. The oil reservoir volume will be monitored with a linear potentiometer.Wireless LAN CPU Board Awake / Reset Buoyancy Engine CTD Sensor Head CTD Sensor Depth sensor Gravity Center Controller Acoustic Positioning System Compass Interface Board Power Source & Analogue Interface Board Transducer Oil meter Hygrometer Gravity Center Controller Iridium Data Modem Thermometer GPS Module RS232C Barometer Figure 10 Block diagram of the electric system. TOWING TANK TESTS USING A HALF-SIZED MODEL We have already finished the basic design of the prototype and have conducted a series of towing-tank tests using a halfsized model portrayed in Fig. Details of the towing tank tests aside from forced oscillation tests were described by Nakamura et al.5 m depth. We also developed vertical tail wings portrayed in Fig.

M. no. Nobuyuki Shikama and Keisuke Mizuno. Fig. 447-452. measures the amount of oil in the reservoir. 2008. Tadayuki Kawasaki. “Seaglider: A Long-Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Oceanographic Research. 1... pp. CONCLUDING REMARKS The design concept of Tsukuyomi. pp. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [2] Charles C. of OCEANS’07 MTS/IEEE Vancouver. Timothy Wen. Proc. 4. Jeff Sherman. 2004. Ichihashi and Y. no. 319-322. Kishima. pp. N. “The Autonomous Underwater Glider ‘Spray’. and simulation are readily available. vol. Ken-ichi Amaike. “Underwater Gliders for Ocean Research. no. of Ocean. “Study on Hydrodynamic Coefficients of Underwater Vehicle for Virtual Mooring. 401-405. Valdes. Eng.” in Proc. Ballard. vol. K. “A Study on a Development of a Motion Control System for Underwater Gliding Vehicle.. Davis. Paul J. Sabin. pp. John W. pp. of Japan.” Marine Technology Society J. Matsuoka and T. The role of the interface board includes monitoring of the CPU board.” in Proc. was described. Jones: “SLOCUM: An Underwater Glider Propelled by Environmental Energy. and Andrew M. Russell D. pp. Kenichi Asakawa. Eriksen. 2001. Webb. Kasuhiko Ichimi. T. Arima.” Conf. 178. 7-10. S. Miwa. and Mary Jane Perry. T. periodic activation of the CPU board from sleep. T.” IEEE J. vol. Toshimasa Doi. 26. Rudnick. Tamaki Ura. vol.. Davis. James Osse and Charles C. Takeshi Kugimiya and Kengo Akahoshi. the underwater glider for virtual mooring. Russ E. 329. The first sea trial is scheduled for March 2012. 1995. Tatsuro Akiba. Taiyo Kobayashi.” J. Hiroshi Uchida. no. “Modelling and Motion Simulation of an Underwater Glider with Independently Controllable Main Wings. 2007. debugging. Charles C. “The Deepglider: A Full Ocean Depth Glider for Oceanographic Research. 2011. Toshiyuki Awaji. 2001. Kisaburo Nakata. in Japanese Masahiko Nakamura.” Science. of Ocean. ISOPE 2008. 10 presents a block diagram of the electric system under development. John Philip Matthews. M.” in Proc. Eriksen. in CD-ROM.. Mitsuhiro Oride and Takashi Sakamaki. in Japanese. “Development of Shuttle Type AUV "ALBAC" and Sea Trials for Oceanographic Measurement. Tetsuro Ino. 424-436. pp. of the Soc. 4. Katsuro Katsumata. Thomas W. Russ E. The depth sensor is used for the control of the vehicle. Chiodi. The oil meter.” IEEE J. 657-665. 401406. James Osse. Wataru Koterayama. Proc. “Simulated Rapid Warming of Abyssal North Pacific Waters. 437-446. the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers. REFERENCES [1] Shuhei Masuda. and J. 73-84. Lehman. 2009. Naomi kto. of Int. We are now studying these issues while developing Tsukuyomi. 4. Yoshimi Kawai. 2. 2005. which consists of a linear potentiometer. Linux is used for the operating system because various related tools for programming. Douglas C. Owens. H. Fratantoni. the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers. of Ocean. Eng. VI. vol. Light. vol. Keiji Nakatsuji. Peter L. pp. Tsukuyomi is a test bed to exemplify the capability of underwater gliders for virtual mooring. Eng. Michihiko Tachikawa. 4. Hiromichi Igarashi. Daniel L. .” Conf. vol.” in Proc. It also should be able to execute sophisticated dead-reckoning navigation while gathering data. of Naval Arch.. Takeshi Kawano and Masao Fukasawa. Masaru Inada and Kenji Marubayashi. Kazuhiro Watanabe. Takahiro Toyoda.” in Proc. Nakamura. 2007. Hyakudome. Eriksen. Nozomi Sugiura. Workshop on Scientific Use of Submarine Cables and Related Technologies 2011. and Clayton P. Hiroshi Iwamiya. Kiyoshi Hirokawa Nobuaki Arai. Satoru Yamaguchi. 2010. 26. Asakawa. pp.power consumption. W. 2001. 2010. “Disk Type Underwater Glider for Virtual Mooring and Field Experiment. Takashi Naito. vol. Minami. B.” IEEE J. We surmise also that miniaturization and weight saving are important to enhance its practicality. “New Buoyancy Engine for Autonomous Vehicles Observing Deeper Oceans. Symp. David M. pp. of OCEANS 2009 Europe. 26. Yuzo Kusaka and Mato Hattori. Katsuyoshi Kawaguchi. Shinya Kouketsu. and interface with sensors. 517-520. We think that the maximum water depth should be extended to extend its applicable waters. “Prediction of Harmful Algal Population Dynamics by Autonomous Lagrangian Platform Systems. on Underwater Technology 2011 & Int. Simonetti. of ISOPE 2010. 38.

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