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Variable Ballast Systems

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  • Variable Ballast Systems

    If a team decides to try a VBS, would the system violate the 3 thruster rule?

    Meaning, if an ROV has a 'bladder' that allows for variable ballast control, this would allow the ROV to ascend or descend. Is this considered 'propulsion" by the rules?
    If so, does that mean the "bladder" counts as a thruster?

    If not, then is the team still allowed to have 3 traditional thrusters?

    We saw this once before at the national challenge in Mississippi, but not since.

  • #2
    Great innovative idea; we had discussed making this one of the engineering challenged this year, so I am glad to see someone wanting to do this.
    The ballast will not count as a thruster as long it is not generating a force to propel the ROV. If the ballast system releases air or fluid that causes the ROV to move then this would be considered a thruster.
    Please let me know if this makes sense.


    • #3
      Thanks so much!

      The system concept is a "bladder" like design inside of the ROV hull. It would be filled with air, and controlled via a pneumatic concept. (Sorry to be vague, this is a competition)
      The inflating of the bladder would cause water to be displaced from inside the hull, this would make the ROV ascend. Deflating the bladder would cause it to descend.

      Can't wait for the competition!


      • #4
        underwaterraiders Glad to see you are doing this. Yes, I assumed that was your concept, and vagueness is understood. I was at the challenge in Mississippi and remember the deigns. Good luck.