Detailed Design of a Thruster Solution for a Small Mass-Market Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle
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- Institutt for marin teknikk 
This thesis addresses the design of a thruster-solution for a mass-market Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle with respect to performance and cost while increasing reliability, efficiency and durability of the system. With a relatively new and unexplored market, delivery of high quality is very important to make an impact with consumers. Factors such as performance, build quality and portability are important to be able to stay competitive in the market. The objective is to design a thruster for the BluEye Explorer P1, a portable Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle, with the existing thruster-solution as a guideline. Motor selection, protection of corrodible materials and propeller design are some of the problems encountered. The required performance of a motor and propeller is dependent on the total drag force exerted on the system. By using the dimensions of the Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle and its systems in combination with computational fluid dynamics analysis, necessary data is obtained to calculate the drag force on the body and the necessary power to operate the vessel. Appropriate motor alternatives are chosen through a process of elimination assisted by a computational script based on extensive propeller series. Suitable propeller designs are optimized and analyzed, resulting in a low-voltage DC solution with an operation depth of up to 100 meters. Cost-wise, the thruster is estimated to be one third of the price of the existing motor and propeller; in-house production brings the price down drastically compared to outsourcing. With the extensive propeller series and the aid of computational design programs such as OpenProp, the final product is ready to commence the production phase. Compared with the existing design, the thruster-solution is slightly bigger, but in return grants higher output.