Department of

Structural Engineering

UCSD Human Powered Submarine

The UCSD Human Powered Submarine named Vaquita made it to the European International Submarine Races for the first time this year. Seven teammates attended the event held at Qinetiq Ocean Basin in Gosport England from July 3rd- July 14th. From 9am to 4pm teams would fix, modify, and race their submarines in the Qinetiq Ocean Basin.  The race course was made up of a straight away with a timing trap, u-turn, and back through a slalom course.   

Vaquita got 7th place out of the 12 submarines. The judging was based on Design Report, Dry Inspection (where the quality of our design and build were judged), Wet Check (where each team had to demonstrate their pilot Safety Buoy function and pilot escape underwater), Race Performance, and Reliability.
Vaquita was also awarded with the most unusual design award. Of the 12 submarines there were only three non propeller subs. The other two non propeller subs used Hobie Mirage drive propulsion systems. The team received a lot of enthusiasm from the judges and other teams about the unique design. 

The spirit of the races is all about camaraderie, having fun, and learning. Teams shared tools, divers, and tips/experience about how to improve subs, manage teams, and fundraise. It is a small community of human powered sub engineers.  Next year the team will be lead by 3rd year Xander Westra, the propulsion lead from Vaquita. The team will likely reuse the same hull and focus on building a stronger team mentoring new members by having them improve existing systems. The team plans to attend the submarine races at in Maryland next summer.

Submarine construction in progressLoading submarine into poolGroup photo!UCSD Submarine Team

VIDEO FROM THE RACES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90GfEpPMWG0&t=1s


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