A low-cost wave/solar powered unmanned surface vehicle
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This paper presents a prototype of a low-cost Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) that is operated by wave and solar energy which can be used to minimize the cost of ocean data collection. The current prototype is a compact USV, with a length of 1.2m that can be deployed and recovered by two persons. The design includes an electrically operated winch that can be used to retract and lower the underwater unit. Several elements of the design make use of additive manufacturing and inexpensive materials. The vehicle can be controlled using radio frequency (RF) and a satellite communication, through a custom developed web application. Both the surface and underwater units were optimized with regard to drag, lift, weight, and price by using recommendation of previous research work and advanced materials. The USV could be used in water condition monitoring by measuring several parameters, such as dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, and pH.