Request for Sale Price of Fully Automated Miniature Submarine.

Hello, my name is Jon Baum, and I am a professor at an Arizona University. At the beginning of every year, I assign my students a problem that has to be solved, a class project, if you like,
and at the end of each year, I take and frequently accept proposals from the class of that year about what the next year's project should be. One particularly intelligent student this year suggested that the next year's class should have the problem of building a fully automated submarine. I immediately seized upon the idea, as it presents numerous challenges, as well as being quite interesting from an aesthetic standpoint as well as an engineering one. The proposal was as follows (paraphrased, and with minor adjustments by myself): A competent and elegant solution must be reached for the following problem: Construction of a working submarine, not exceeding in length 50 centimeters, in height and width 15 centimeters. Said submarine must be able to attain a depth 100 meters below the surface of a body of fresh water. It also must be fully automated, requiring no direct control, and capable of responding to stimulus competently. It must be seaworthy enough to withstand with no repairs a vowage of six weeks, carry enough sensory equipment to navigate, enough computing power to avoid detection, and it must be able to carry a payload (e.g. a camera or a dud missile) and be able to deploy that payload or use it on its six week voyage. It must also be able to recharge its batteries or refeul efficiently and expediantly. Put bluntly, my problem is one of funding. I was hoping for my university to fund me, but they are not sure that the investment is a wise one. I do not want to burden my students with matters of pedagogical solvency, nor do I want to foot the bill entirely by myself. My question is, in the opinions of those who read this: What price do you think such a device as I have here described can fetch on say, eBay?
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Jon Baum wrote:

This is a significantly small AUV for the complexity you've given it. And -- if I read it right -- your expectation of a six week unmnanned voyage with some form of "expedient" battery recharge scheme (automated? solar?) is borderline fantasy. If you can create an AUV capable of carrying a possibly explosive payload that is truly undetectable the US government will either want to talk with you in a darkened room with one bright light shining in your face, or hire you. I make light of this, but I'm sure you can see that this would be a terrorist's dream. Sale price??? The government wouldn't let you sell it.
There are several UAV competitions every year, often on the West Coast. The next big one is in August, and is in San Diego, not a far drive for you from Phoenix. You may want to attend:
http://www.auvsi.org/competitions/water.cfm
You'll see that the "mission" goal for this year is significantly less ambitious than your proposal. They're looking for things like docking with a station, and running for maybe 15-20 minutes at a time. They're cool if the thing is less than six feet long.
-- Gordon
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"Jon Baum" wrote

To satisfy my curiosity I ask the following : 1) What kind of class are these projects for ? 2) What university are you a faculty member of ? 3) Why are you asking what this project would fetch on eBay ?
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