Dragon AUV
Dragon AUV

The Dragon is small autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can tow a payload whose drag is many times larger than that of the AUV.  The Dragon presents a number of design challenges.  For example, the highly-loaded propulsion system must provide many times more thrust than needed for the AUV alone, but without cavitation or excessive roll-moment.  Likewise, the control system requires unconventional control affectors for maneuving due to the large restoring moment imparted by the towed payload.  


  • Displacement: 8.3 kg
  • Length: 0.831 m
  • Diameter: 0.145 m
  • Design speed: 2 m/s
  • Drag @ 2 m/s: 70 N (towed payload), 15 N (self)



Pawar, S., Brizzolara, S. (2019) Relevance of transition turbulent model for hydrodynamic characteristics of low Reynolds number propellers. Applied Ocean Research 87: 165–178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apor.2019.02.018

Pawar S., Brizzolara S. (2019) Hydroelastic Analysis of 3D Printed Marine Propeller Working at Low Reynolds Number. Proc. 6th Int. Symposium on Marine Propulsors, SMP’19. Rome. Vol.II, pp.32-39. ISSN 2414-6129.

SB Gibson, DJ Stilwell, Hydrodynamic Parameter Estimation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 27 November 2018, https://doi.org10.1109/JOE.2018.2877489.

ME Kepler, S Pawar, DJ Stilwell, S Brizzolara, WL Neu, Assessment of AUV Hydrodynamic Coefficients from Analytic and Semi-Empirical Methods, Proc. IEEE/MTS OCEANS, 2018, Charleston, SC, USA.

ME Kepler, S Pawar, DJ Stilwell, S Brizzolara, WL Neu, Steering Plane Dynamics of a Small Autonomous Underwater Vehicle that Tows a Large Payload, Proc. AUV 2018, Porto, Portugal.