Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Patrick N. Currier, PhD

First Committee Member

Charles F. Reinholts, PhD

Second Committee Member

Brian K. Butka, PhD


In the unmanned systems industry, there is no common standard for systems components, connections and relations. Such a standard is never likely to exist. Needless to say, a system needs to have the components that are required for the application, however, it is possible to abstract the common functionality out of an individual implementation. This thesis presents a universal unmanned systems architecture that collects all of the common features of an unmanned system and presents them as a set of packages and libraries that can be used in any domain of unmanned system operation. The research and design of the universal architecture results in a well-defined architecture that can be used and implemented on any unmanned system. The AUVSI student competitions are specifically analyzed and it is shown how this universal architecture can be applied to the challenges posed by the competitions in different domains.