Seminar - 02012013

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Energy Challenges for Future AUV Systems

February 1, 2013
ME Lecture Hall

Dr. James G. Bellingham

Chief Technologist Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Current energy storage technologies fundamentally limit the performance of undersea systems, and motivate a range of design and energy management strategies.

Topics will include:

  • A simple framework for vehicle design for energy constraints
  • Energy and multi-platform systems
  • Examples of designing for energy efficiency

The talk will conclude with a discussion of prospects for improved energy availability.


James G. Bellingham is the Chief Technologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. He is an internationally recognized expert in AUV technology, and the energy storage systems required for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). In the process of developing these vehicles, he spent considerable time at sea, leading over 20 AUV expeditions. Dr. Bellingham leads the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN) program at MBARI, which uses fleets of autonomous vehicles to adapt to and observe rapidly changing oceanographic processes. In addition to his role as Chief Technologist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (since 2006), he has served as Director of Engineering, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (1998-2006), Founder and Leader of he Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Laboratory (1989 -2000), Co-founder of Bluefin Robotics Corporation (1997), and a member of the Board of Directors, Bluefin Robotics (1997-2005); Strategic Advisory Group, Battelle Memorial Corporation (2005-present). Note that Bluefin is a a leading manufacturer of AUVs for the military, commercial, and scientific markets. Bluefin was purchased by Battelle Memorial Corporation in 2005. Dr. Bellingham has served as committee member for the National Academies on the "Illuminating the Hidden Planet" study, the Arctic Observing Network study, and the ongoing Naval Studies Board Committee for Distributed Systems. Jim has served on steering committees for a number of NSF sponsored ocean observatory workshops, including SCOTS, RECONN, ORION, and Sensors. He served six years on the Deep Submergence Science Committee (DeSSC) which is the community advisory group for the National Deep Submergence Facility (operators of ALVIN and JASON II). He is the recipient of the Lockheed Martin Award for Ocean Science and Engineering (2004), was the Steinbach Visiting Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,(2004), the Fourteenth Robert Bruce Wallace Lecture at MIT entitled "Observing the Ocean" (1996), the Antarctica Service Medal of the United States of America: Awarded by NSF, (1993), and the Antarctica Service Medal: Awarded by Department of the Navy (1993). He received an R&D 100 Award: Awarded to MIT for commercialization effort of Ph.D. dissertation (1992).


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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