S.A.D.C.A.T.S. :: Senior Design Team P 04034

Team Members

Matthew BuchwaldMS/BS Electrical Engineering
Matthew RhoadsBS Mechanical Engineering
John RobinsonBS Mechanical Engineering
Dan RubinBS Mechanical Engineering
Matthew StithBS Electrical Engineering
Dr. Robert KremensProject Sponsor
Dr. Wayne WalterProject Mentor
Professor George SlackProject Mentor
Preliminary Design Report PDR Presentation Critical Design Report CDR Presentation Project Poster Technical Conference Paper Propulsion Calculations Electrical Schematics Software Flowcharts Source Code
CAD Drawings
Propulsion Pictures Motor Tube Lip Seal Connecting Rod Propeller Shaft Other Propulsion Stress Concentration
Software Test Code
Propulsion Test Dive Test EEPROM Test Sensor Test Status LED Test GPS Test Data Transmit Test

Project Overview

Mission Statement

The Submersible Autonomous Data Collection and Transmission System Team is to design and fabricate a functional prototype to be delivered to the project sponsor for use in data collection. The prototype is to be a second generation offspring of the model produced during work conducted in the year prior. The model also is to be designed so as to not loose any of the functionality provided by the previous design.


While significant resources have been allocated to research of the offshore regions within the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; the quantity of data available from shallow lake research pales in comparison to the oceanic data available. Currently, data collection is carried out in a labor intensive manual fashion, often times via a bucket method, where specimens must be transported back to dry land for analysis. This tends to lead to issues of data inaccuracy resultant from contamination during transport and the variation of environment between eco-system and laboratory. Thus it was proposed that an autonomous system be developed to aid in the acquisition and transmission of relevant data from the point of origin back to a base station for distribution and analysis.


The device in question was to be designed such that the capabilities of the first generation prototype are maintained. At the same time, improvements in communication, dry weight, geo-location capability, horizontal motion, and sensor feedback were to be realized.

The vessel will navigate between waypoints on the surface, dive to a specified depth, and then rise while collecting data. Once the vessel reaches the surface, the collected data will be transmitted back to the base station at RIT.


The primary market sector for the SADCATS project is the project sponsor, Dr. Robert Kremens of the Imaging Science Center.

Secondary market possibilities exist in the provision of data acquired by the SADACATS device for use and interpretation by the following:

  • The State University of New York at Brockport
  • Other Parties interested in Research Data in Shallow Water Bodies

Performance Specifications

Desired Specs

Among with the design objectives, there are a number of specific performance specifications that the team attempted to meet. They are as follows:

  1. Dive Depth: The maximum dive depth of the vehicle is to be 100ft
  2. Horizontal Speed: The vehicle is to achieve a surface speed of at least one knot.
  3. Target Mission Length: 16 Hours (Daytime Deployable)
  4. Tracking Range: Data points can be taken from 30km outside Rochester
Deliverables Achieved
  1. Propulsion system: Successfully pool tested and bench tested
  2. Hull: Successful sealing at 1 foot below surface. Held all required components with a 75% weight reduction over the previous generation's hull.
  3. Ballast: Performs adequately in order for testing in pool.
  4. Electrical Hardware: Allows switching of high-current devices, variable control of propulsion motors.
  5. Software: Properly controls all necessary aspects (propulsion, dive system, solenoid valve, gps handling, etc). Successfully reads sensory information