First Field Test Results – 7/5/16



  • Calibration data were successfully collected
  • Battery positioning needs adjustment
  • Issues arose with power provision and WiFi, preventing any extensive testing of autonomouos operation
  • More attention to pretest preparation is needed
  • List of needed equipment and materials was complete; nothing was forgotten

Data Collected

  • Thrust: 12 -16 N. – More precision prevented by winds and difficulty of effecting completely horizontal thrust line.
  • Circle time (1 thruster, 360 degrees): 27 1/4 secs.
  • Rotation time (2 thrusters, opposite directions, 360 degrees):  13 1/4 secs.
  • Follow up measurements are needed


  • No leak or list appeared
  • Boat pitched upward, due to relocation of batteries
  • Better positioning is needed

Electrical Issues

  • Power was lost more than once. On one occasion, the power switch on a surge protector was flipped by accidental contact.  At other times, a loose power cable connection was responsible.  We need to provide guards for switches and use only equipment with tight connections.
  • The A-100 dropped out several times. Power loss may have been a factor, but we need to check power adequacy and conditioning as well.
  • After an extended period of trying to determine why no signal was coming from the A-100, we discovered that the cable between it and the breakout box was disconected. We need to maintain a cheklist of all nonpermanent connections, to confirm that each is in place before each test.
  • WiFi communication was lost repeatedly. Power was an issue on some but most likely not all occasions.  The metal roof over the dock and its vertical supporting members may have caused interference.  We need to conduct more extensive testing of conditions supporting or interfering with communication.

Other Issues

  • An appropriate transport vehicle is important. Time was lost because the University van that we were given initially could not accommodate the boat.
  • All assembly, tightness checks, etc. should be completed prior to the day of the test. Failure to do that cost us more time.
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