A few members woke up really early this morning (Sunday) to prepare for our third semifinal run. Again our sub went through the gate and attempted to hit all three buoys, but only successfully hit one. The rest of the day we spent talking with other teams about their subs and getting new ideas on how we'd like to improve our own for next year. In the afternoon we watched the top teams compete in the finals. In the evening we attended the awards ceremony, which was hosted in Old Town San Diego, and later socialized with other teams at the hotel.
Overall, we are happy with the performance of our submarine this year. While we did not hit complete all of the tasks we had planned, we came very close. In addition, our issues were mostly simply higher-level AI decision-making tweaks, instead of hardware or core software components, which has been the bane of our team since we started. I feel we are in a strong position for rapid improvement this upcoming year, for the first time ever we are happy with both our base mechanical, electrical, and software design, and have no major problems with them. Our mechanical design has proven to be sturdy, waterproof, relatively easy to work with, all while looking beautiful. The electrical design was extremely stable, we had no issues with loose or unreliable connections and all devices performed as expected. Our core software system (sensors, thrusters, and control system) has been well tested for months and shown to work well, while our new deep vision processing system performed better than any of us had hoped.
Final rankings for the top 5 teams were announced at the awards ceremony, ranking for all other teams will be released sometime in the next few months. We are not sure exactly where we fell in the ranking, but as far as we could tell our performance was around the middle of the pack.
We have been thinking about what sort of incremental improvements we would like to start tackling this upcoming year, planned and scheduled with a mandate of keeping the sub in a ready state to perform pool tests every two weeks.
We'd like to give a huge thanks to NAVSEA for sponsoring us, our university for supporting us, and of course the rest of our team for working hard all year round to get the sub to this point. Looking forward to next year!