University of Maryland test bed with Motion Capture consists of six propeller-driven UUVs with reflective markers, a 367,000 gallon dive tank, and a underwater motion capture system with twelve Oqus underwater cameras. There are eight cameras at an upper level and four on a lower level. The current architecture has an autopilot unit attached to the bottom of each submarine through which closed-loop control of the vehicle can be performed.
The motion capture system outputs data in real time. The data is processedto generate a desired heading rate to be sent to the submarines. So far, the performance of the autopilot unit has been examined in and out of the water. An ArduPilot will be placed in the main pressure vessel of each submarine and will receive commands directly from the submarines receiver.
Tests have also been conducted to examine the ability of the motion capture system to handle multiple rigid bodies. Efforts are currently under way to examine the ability to inject controlled flow fields in to the NBRF. This would allow the simulation of real underwater flows in a controllable environment.
With this architecture, the test bed provides an environment where collective control laws for UUVs can be tested and evaluated in a safe and predictable environment.