Texas A&M “Aggies” are the first team to officially qualify to compete in the European International Submarine Race (eISR) 2016, which will be held from the 6th to the 15th of July 2016 in Gosport, England.
The team competed in the inaugural race in 2012 but were unable to complete the course. They will return with the same submarine, and a much improved set of controls.
The race involves teams of university students building and racing human-powered submarines around a demanding slalom course in what is a unique sporting and engineering challenge. The racecourse is hosted in QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin, the biggest covered water space in Europe.
Past teams, comprised of multi-disciplinary engineering students, have designed a wide variety of exciting machines, propelled either by standard rotating propellers, or by novel non-propeller thrusters.
Regardless of the propulsion system selected, the basic design and build process boils down to five components: hull, propulsion, transmission, pilot safety and ergonomics, and control. The levels of sophistication applied to all of these components are up to each team - it is possible to do well with just a hull, some fins, and a recycled bicycle, but to really excel requires some serious thought and careful manufacturing, and of course, the submarine must be finished and functioning for that all-important week in July.