Autonomous Trimaran

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by jspring, May 3, 2015.

  1. jspring
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    jspring New Member

    Hello, I'm a computer science student who has an interesting in autonomous boats. My knowledge of boat design is rather limited and I was hoping I could draw on all of your knowledge to assist me in a project. The project is to prototype a autonomous marine research platform.

    I've been curious if a motor powered trimaran hull would be appropriate for a boat under 2 metres and what advantages and disadvantages it might have over its competitors (monohull and catamaran) at this size range.

    From my understanding of a trimaran they are as stable as it can get which is ideal for some scientific equipment. More importantly from what I gather they can be a lot more energy efficient which is a key factor for autonomous vessels. However is this still efficiency still present at this size range?

    Cheers,
    Jordan
     
  2. pbmaise
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    pbmaise Senior Member

    Does autonomous mean electric motor with solar panels?

    I suggest accepting the fact it will be rolled by big waves.

    Keel seems essential to me. A trimaran for width and surface area for solar panel and center hull with keel. When a wave crashes from above, the solars need to tilt nearly vertical.
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Nothing 2 metres long could be depended on to stay upright in open waters, or if you made it so it was, would probably be quite poor in performance. I think you need to specify what the duty parameters are.
     
  4. lucdekeyser
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    lucdekeyser Senior Member

    pretty smart engineering in the saildrone http://www.saildrone.com/
    Is a stabilized monohull.
    I see advantages using this technology in a pacific proa configuration . It would be handy to be able to reverse course easily when caught in ocean crud.
     
  5. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Dick Newick did a study for a 36 foot sailing unmanned tri for a client but it wasn't built. It featured deck solar panels for power to control the onboard sailing and navigating systems. The design is called "Relationship" and used the main hull from his Echo 2 design.
     
  6. jspring
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    jspring New Member

    Hello, thank you for the responses

    Sorry I should of mentioned I planned on using solar panels and electric motors. The catamaran and trimaran hulls will provide a lot of space for solar panels which is kinda of why I'm siding towards them.

    Personally I didn't think it will matter to much about the vessel rolling, as long as it doesn't get stuck upside down.

    Hmmm I'll see what I can find, thanks cavalier.

    I have come across the C-Enduro by ASV. Its a self righting catamaran, and while its a little bigger than what I have in mind, would anyone know how it goes about self righting itself?

    Cheers
     
  7. teamvmg
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    teamvmg Senior Member

    How about a catamaran with the panels and drive on a gimbled [sp?] central pod so that when it flips, the pod stays upright.
     
  8. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    The study drawings for Relationship can be acquired from the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

    A automated flood and pump system could be implemented for a bows down recovery system. Once vertical, water pumped into a tank in the stern bottom would insure righting shiny side up during the pump out. Construction should support this requirement. The bow area shouldn't be buoyant core but solid glass skins to aid in the sinking. It is a bit complicated, easy to see why manufacturers rely instead on the rarity of capsize.

    This complexity would be needed on a sailing boat that needs to keep the same side up because of the rig or if more area is needed for panels than teamvmg's rota-pod could provide.
     
  9. peterAustralia
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    peterAustralia Senior Member

    for under 2 meters you need a single hull design. If you go for a mulithull design, a big wave will tip it over and it will stay upside down. I am pretty sure I have seen some solar powered drones that attempted to cross the atlantic, I think they got a few hundred miles before something broke. At the speeds you are looking at, 1 knot or less, there is no advantage in a multihull design
     
  10. HASYB
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    HASYB Senior Member

    I didn't notice this thread earlier but as a big fan of Dick Newick's design's I tried to trace the trimaran of the Relationship Project several years back in the hope it would be a hidden treasure lying somewhere unused, unattended.
    There were then a lot links with articles of which only a few still work plus I still have a couple of, not so great, pictures.
    Probably the most chance of getting information should be contacting the University of Furtwangen in Germany cause it was a pretty big project back then with lots of publicity, even uproar (unmanned vessel at sea), also with coverage on Dutch television.
    To my knowledge the project stranded somewhere at the Canary Islands but succeeded to sail to the Canaries. I don't recall exactly if the trip to the Canaries was in fact unmanned.
    After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to cross the ocean the project was finally abandoned.

    Cheers & good luck with your project,

    The links:

    http://relationship.m-fink.de/index.html

    http://relationship.m-fink.de/wsm.szczecin.pl/indexen.html
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    jspirng

    welcome to the forum.

    I think you'll get many conflicting replies. Simply because you need to separate the "design" side from the autonomous side of your project.

    The design, needs an SOR..in other words, what are your objects...weight...speed....payload...deck area..stability etc etc. These design constraints shall dictate the best or preferred solution of design. But the important part of it is directly related to your equipment you shall use.

    Since to design the vessel..whatever hull form it shall be...one needs the weight and size of all your equipment. This needs to be taken into account and shall of course influence the final design.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. HASYB
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    HASYB Senior Member

    Jordan,

    Now that I got thinking again about autonomous boats, I think I recall at least one attempt several years ago from a smaller vessel crossing the ocean autonomously.
    Might be even about the 2 meter length you refer to.
    I think there was a thread or a link on the project somewhere on Sailing Anarchy or here at Boat Design.
    I'll see if I can come up with some more info..

    Guess Ad Hoc is right if you want specifics about the vessel itself.
     
  13. HASYB
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    HASYB Senior Member

    LOL………. I did one click and I'm flooded with info, better leave it you.

    Good luck with your project.
     
  14. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Thanks for the links HAYSB. The thing that bothers me is a philosophic question. If our boats can have fun and sail without us, why do we exist? For surely they will build themselves next....
     

  15. HASYB
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    HASYB Senior Member

    Cav, Looks to me it's more of an existential rather than a philosophical question.
    If humanity isn't capable of keeping her balance on & with this most unique planet, the robots for certain won't have any idea of how to enjoy themselves.
    Or anyone else for that matter.

    A critical question of the most essential order remains however: Will they use rope?
    The robots I mean…..not he bears.
     
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