Resource Assessment

AUV Based Turbulence Measurements

Led by Manhar Dhanak, Ph.D.
Affiliated Home Campus: Boca Raton
Affiliated Department: Ocean and Mechanical Engineering


In the process of designing marine hydrokinetic turbines, quantifying the ambient water velocity field is critical to identifying optimal turbine placement and creating accurate loading estimates. Therefore, this study developed a way to process data from turbulence sensors as a method to identify and catalog ocean phenomena occurring below the surface. A turbulence sensor package attached to an AUV was used to measure the velocity of flow in the water. Data analysis makes it possible to identify different ocean phenomena that are present. These could include characteristics such as internal waves or eddies, which affect the flow over obstacles such as landscapes, or in this case a turbine, below the surface. Using data on the velocity of water at locations in the Florida Current and performing a spectral analysis one can identify the different characteristics throughout the year. Then, using the turbulence sensor on the AUV to validate the models and provide further insight, one can construct a model of ocean phenomena in the Florida Current and determine an ideal location for optimal turbine placement.

Click here to watch the student presentation.

HBOI ocean fish