Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.


Computer Science and Engineering; Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Kitts


A full operations package for underwater research, including the mid-sized ROV Nautilus with a distributed control system, a topside graphical user interface (GUI), and a dedicated launch and recovery system (LARS), was developed to increase the operational efficiency of scientific exploration and experimentation missions through Santa Clara University’s (SCU’s) Robotics Systems Laboratory (RSL). Design of the mechanical subsystems on Nautilus added flexibility of usage and protection of components. The new GUI improved pilot control of Nautilus with an added heads-up display and easy access to sensor readouts. The simulated Nautilus altitude control system has an error of ±1% and a tested heading control system with an error of ±5˚, enhancing navigation. The LARS, though not manufactured due to project setbacks, will improve the efficiency and safety of deployment and retrieval. It is also expected to decrease the amount of time and people necessary for both the launch and recovery processes from five minutes to two minutes and four people to one person respectively.