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SJTUers Won Grand Prize in IEEE OES Underwater Video Competition

April 08, 2021      Author:

Recently, IEEE OES Underwater Technology 21 (UT21 Online) Underwater Video Competition was successfully concluded online. The project "A Multimodal Hybrid Aerial Underwater Vehicle - NEZHA III" submitted by students from SJTU School of Oceanography won the grand prize in the general presentation of this competition, which is the only awarded Chinese project in this competition.

The video competition is divided into two categories: research presentation and general presentation. The competition aims to provide inspiration for researchers in the industry by introducing their research and attractive videos to each other, so as to stimulate research and development in undersea technology and oceanographic monitoring.

Lu Di, doctoral student of School of Oceanography designed and produced the hybrid aerial underwater vehicle NEZHA III, whose field test video was unanimously recognized by the judges for its novel concept and excellent performance in crossing between water and air.

The video submitted to the competition recorded the on-site test of the hybrid aerial underwater vehicle NEZHA III in Qiandao Lake in 2019, and showed its complete movement process and operating mechanism. The research was supported by the Key Scientific and Technological Research Project of Social Development in Shanghai, the Key Prospective Layout Fund Project of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the open project of Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao). The related research results were recently published in Ocean Engineering, titled "Design, fabrication, and characterization of a multimodal hybrid aerial underwater vehicle".  Lu Di, author of this research article, is a doctoral student supervised by professor Lian Lian and associate researcher Zeng Zheng of SJTU School of Oceanography. The video was shot, edited and produced by Lv Chenxin, a postgraduate student from the team.

The hybrid aerial underwater vehicle NEZHA III is the first to combine the design concept of underwater glider with that of unmanned aerial vehicle. It is expected to be applied in marine science, engineering and military in the future for simultaneous air, water and underwater detection tasks in specific sea areas, which will significantly improve the level and ability of marine stereo monitoring in China.

About the competition: http://www.ut2021.org


Author: Zeng Zheng

Source: School of Oceanography, SJTU

Translated by Zhou Rong

Proofread by Xiao Yangning, Fu Yuhe



Hybrid aerial underwater vehicle is a novelty able to fly and swim, which is extensively suitable for missions like water sampling, observing semi-submerged structure, and underwater exploration, etc. Motivated by the efficiency of fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and underwater gliders in their own specific environments and the maneuverability of rotary-wing UAVs, this paper presents an improved design of a multimodal HAUV capable of level and vertical flight, hovering, and underwater glide. Specially, to balance flight payload and weight under water, an innovative configuration is proposed, which includes a newly developed lightweight pneumatic buoyancy system and excludes the linear actuator commonly used for pitch control of gliders. Moreover, motor arms can fold for better hydrodynamics. All these tradeoffs demand an adequate match between the fuselage aerodynamics and propulsion property, and special management of buoyancy and weight to guarantee predicted performances. Therefore, key design principles are proposed and elaborated. Based on the principles, a prototype, named Nezha III, was fabricated and tested. The prototype's performance characterization in the regions of underwater, flight, and water/air transition are presented. The results demonstrate the desired performance of the prototype under different modes, and notably prove its outstanding capability of diving to 50 m depth.