Florida Atlantic University’s Department of Ocean & Mechanical Engineering is located on two campuses – the SeaTech campus (Dania Beach, Florida) and the main Boca Raton campus. The Maritime Systems Lab is located on the SeaTech campus where most graduate-level research and teaching in Ocean Engineering are conducted. The campus is located between the US Intra-Coastal Waterway (ICW) and the Atlantic Ocean, about 2.5 miles south of Port Everglades, and provides direct access to seawater, docking facilities and extensive laboratories, which specialize in unmanned vehicle development, marine acoustics, marine materials, hydrodynamics and physical oceanography. The proposed unmanned surface vehicle (USV) field testing and development will be conducted in the Maritime Systems Laboratory. Laboratory personnel and students are experienced in the design, construction, testing and deployment of USVs. The facility possesses several USVs and manned boats. 


The FAU SeaTech Campus.

An important advantage of the facility is that its location permits the rapid and easy configuration of test sites for USVs. The image below shows a course constructed to test two USVs interacting with a manned johnboat while performing COLREGs compliant behaviors. The course was implemented in a sheltered area of the ICW in Hollywood, FL, about 1 mile south of the SeaTech Campus.


An on-water USV obstacle course.

Major Instrumentation:

The Maritime Systems Lab possesses four USVs and supporting instrumentation/software.

The 8 foot DUKW-Ling (top left), the 12 foot WAM-V USV12 (top right), the 14 foot WAM-V USV14 (lower left) and the 16 foot WAM-V USV16 (lower right).

Affiliated Facilites

FAU SeaTech Electronics Workshop: The facility is staffed by two electrical engineers and two electronics technicians; the workshop possesses all of the software and fabrication equipment necessary for the proposed effort.  Workshop personnel are very experienced in the design of sonar systems, signal processing electronics, and autonomous ocean-going vehicles and instrumentation.

FAU SeaTech Mechanical Shop: Two full time engineers and two machinists staff the SeaTech mechanical workshop. The facility is well-outfitted for the production of ocean-going systems.