Hello, UBC Sailbot blog followers, and Happy New Year!
We at Sailbot have a bunch of exciting updates for this new academic term which we would like to take this opportunity to share. First, development of our new vessel is proceeding very well, and we have made great strides in designing her new systems, be they mechanical, electrical, control, and software. Second, we will be at the Vancouver Boat Show next week – drop by and say hi!
Our new vessel, currently codenamed Ada 2.0, will operate much closer to home – goals for her include competition in the Vic-Maui Yacht race, as well as intensive local testing and development of a highly sophisticated marine obstacle avoidance system.
Our new vessel will be a more “traditional” boat than was Ada. She will feature a sloop rig, which will allow better performance at a wide range of points of sail. She will also feature a dual rudder, which will decrease the chances of failure by reducing the force on the individual rudders, and by decreasing the size of each rudder, which will passively reduce the chance of fouling. The hull hydrodynamics of Ada 2.0 are based on modified hull designs of successful long-range single-handed racing sailboats, and four hull designs are currently being analyzed with various naval architecture software including MAXSURF and ShipMo3D. This analysis will be finished in late January, and we plan to build the hull using molded composite construction this upcoming summer.
The basic building blocks of our power system have been identified, and our designs have been reviewed by various industry experts from Energus, Solara, Victron and the UBC lab funded by our sponsor, Alpha Technologies. We are currently working on the AIS system and the integration thereof.
Our new electrical and control system will also be highly modular, and will use the CANBUS communication protocol to achieve this. Our reusable communications module will greatly reduce the complexity, and increase the reliability, isolation, and ease of testing of our boat’s new electrical and control systems.
Finally, our software team has been hard at work completely revamping our vessel systems. This past term has been focussed on exploration of and familiarization with these more advanced systems. Our new global pathfinding system will provide more accurate point-to-point navigation, and the new local pathfinding system will accurately model vessel dynamics and will allow safer navigation in hazardous conditions such as harbours. Our obstacle detection will feature a LIDAR – although we so far do not have a unit of our own, we have been working closely with other groups to get data so that we can develop robust capabilities for detecting and identifying multiple obstacles.
We are excited and inspired by the fast pace of development we have been able to achieve – we hope to see you at the Vancouver Boat Show, where we can tell you about this in person.