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Racers start your computers, turn on your propulsion systems, click on the video cameras and get underway. No wires, no tethers, no antennae, just a torpedo-like vehicle with batteries, sensors and propellers; and a beacon should it become disoriented. Off it goes into the distance tracking on a pre-programmed course; ready to tackle some important tasks.

Although no one has officially registered to compete in the 9th Annual International Autonomous Underwater

Vehicle Competition, organizers are confident up to 20 vehicles will be on hand.

The rules are just being finalized, and the "Intent to

Compete" forms along with a $500 entry fee are due April 28, 2006. If you think you can just hop into this compe- tition, think again. There are seasoned teams vying for the top spot. This event is the Division 1 of AUV competi- tion. Look for MIT, University of Florida, Duke

University, University of Southern California, Cornell

University, University of Rhode Island, and, hopefully,

Amador Valley High School will all be back this year.

The 2006 event is scheduled to take place August 5-6, 2006 at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San

Diego (SSC San Diego). This is the U.S. Navy's research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support center for command, control and communica- tion systems and ocean surveillance. They also host a number of remotely operated vehicle competitions including air, land and ocean based events. The idea behind these events is to spur ideas and innovations right out of the best universities in the country. The competi- tion is organized jointly by AUVSI (Association for

Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) and ONR (Office of Naval Research).

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems

International (AUVSI) is the world's largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the


Young Guns by Maggie Merrill 34 MTR March 2006

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego) where the 9th Annual AUV competition will take place in August 2006.

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Marine Technology

Marine Technology Reporter is the world's largest audited subsea industry publication serving the offshore energy, subsea defense and scientific communities.