SubSim - an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) simulator


The motivation for development of SubSim is to allow researchers to develop software for thier AUVs without the need for a physical AUV. Application design, controller tuning, mission simulation, and fault-tolerance can all be tested with the simulator. This relieves requirements for on-board data collection, scenario construction and underwater recovery of an AUV.

The primary audience is universities, schools and other educational institutions interested in competing in the Australian Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) competition. The SubSim program was developed for the 1st International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition, to be held in Perth, Western Australia. It is hoped that the availability of a simulation platform will increase the interest in AUV research and boost participation in AUV competitions.


Getting Started

For instructions on getting started with SubSim refer to the Installation Guide. After the successfull installation, the Quick Start Guide will tell you about the Basics.
Advanced Users can take a look at the SubSim Guide for more details about the setting files, client programs and how to extend SubSim trough Plugins.
Developers please refer to the SubSim Developer Guide

Submarine background

Research on AUV design begin in the 1970 and has continued to the present time. AUVs have been constructed to perform a variety of tasks that are impossible for human divers to perform, due either to extreme conditions (i.e. water depth or temperature) or duration under water. AUV hardware components are usually encased in one or more pressure vessels. If multiple vessels are used, these are fixed to one another with a rigid frame. Shapes for AUVs range from spherical to cylindrical to prismatic (i.e. rectangular). AUVs may be as small as 1 meter in length, or as large as 4 meters in length. Weights range from approximately 70 pounds to more than 2 tons. Missions are anywhere from 1 hour to 36 hours in duration with target depths of 30 meters to 6000 metres. The range of an AUV may be up to 1000 kilometers. Typical operating speeds for AUVs range from 1 knot to 5 knots.

Applications of AUVs are:

Licensing and Legal Use

The following is a description of licensing and legal use of SubSim.

Obtaining SubSim

SubSim can be downloaded, free of charge from

Using SubSim

SubSim is intended as a test platform for academic institutions and private industry.  No guarantees are made to the accuracy of the simulation in SubSim.  Use SubSim at your own risk.  The authors and distributors of SubSim are not responsible for any harm to persons, hardware or data, direct or indirect, that results from using SubSim.

You may install and use SubSim, free of charge, on an unlimited number of computers.  You may not sell or redistribute SubSim as stand-alone software or as part of commercial software.  You may not use SubSim for commercial purposes.

3rd Party Libraries

The following non-commercial libraries are used in SubSim:


SubSim was implemented by (in alphebetical order):

Project supervision was done by Thomas Braunl.  The Eyebot API, Mako and USAL AUV models was provided by the Centre for Intelligent Information Processing Systems (CIIPS) at the University of Western Australia. The SubSim logo was produced by Martin Sawtell. The SubSim project was sponsored by Raytheon Australia.