Odyssey was a low-cost Autonomous Undersea Vehicle (AUV) specifically developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), SeaGrant Office for the AOSN Program. Constructed to operate at full ocean depth, Odyssey was designed from the beginning to be both highly capable and inexpensive to mass-produce. At less than two meters in length and not requiring any special handling equipment for launch and recovery, Odyssey can transit at several knots for up to 20 hours due to its ultra-low hydrodynamic drag profile and efficient propulsion system, yielding a very respectable range and oceanographic mission profile. An integral part of the Odyssey is its powerful onboard computer, which is based upon a commercial 68030 processor board.
The computer executes a control program based upon a flexible high-level behavioral language developed at MIT, and supports vehicle control in a wide range of conditions and mission profiles. New mission profiles were quickly configured, tested (via a simulator developed by the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory) and entered into the computer's library. A sophisticated acoustic modem (developed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) is an integral part of the system and is used to support reliable two-way digital communications. A large fraction of Odyssey's internal volume is available for mission sensors. Odyssey is a mature technology which has been successfully deployed and operated in many types of ocean environments, including the arctic.
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