Optimization of the Electrical Drive Train for a Submarine Remotely Operated Rescue Vehicle (RORV) Launch and Recovery System (LARS)

Location: Port Melbourne, VIC

Duration: 4-5 months

Proposed start date: May 2018

Keywords: Maritime Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electric Vehicles, Systems Optimization

Please note: Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will automatically be deemed ineligible for this project.

Project Background

Thrust Maritime is developing a highly sophisticated Launch and Recovery System which is required to be able to be rapidly airfreighted globally to respond and rescue disabled/sunken submarines. Weight, size and ease of assembly are key drivers behind system design. Concurrently, the system is required to be able to be utilized in high sea states which means it is required to be able to respond quickly in adverse operating conditions.

The possibility for significant optimisation of the electrical drive train has been identified through the utilization of electrically powered winches instead of a more traditional hydraulic approach. Such a system would benefit from transfer of technology from the Electric Vehicle automotive industry.

The winch system will have roughly sinusoidally varying loads which means that the incorporation of regenerative electric motor and storage systems would provide significant benefit to the overall system.

Research to be Conducted

Optimization of the winch electrical drive train and regeneration system with focus on the following requirements:
1. System reliability and redundancy – The system should be optimized to allow critical systems to remain functional in the event of single component failure
2. Minimization of weight and size
3. Ability to be air-freighted
4. Ability to respond to highly variable loads and rapid velocity changes to achieve heave compensation in high sea states
5. Regeneration and energy storage capability to minimize peak power draw

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following skills:

• Electrical Engineering background

• Electric Vehicle industry experience
• Knowledge of; Axial Flux Electric motors, Power regeneration and storage, Control Systems

Expected Outcomes

Optimisation report outlining the optimal winch electrical drive train and regeneration system. An associated scale winch prototype that incorporates the various elements of the system is expected to be developed and trialled.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.
It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner. The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.
The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

To participate in the APR.Intern program, all applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
• Be a PhD student currently enrolled at an Australian university
• PhD candidature must be confirmed
• Applicants must have the written approval of their Principal Supervisor to undertake the internship. This approval must be submitted at the time of application.
• Internships are also subject to any requirements stipulated by the student’s and the academic mentor’s university

Applications Close

2 May 2018


INT – 0420