mechanical structure follows a highly modular approach.
It is based on COTS anodized aluminum elements, forming
a rigid frame that attaches to the lateral pontoons by a
set of snap buttons, resulting in a catamaran
arrangement. The pontoons are made of molded
polyethylene, each with a net buoyancy of 50 kg.
Propulsion is provided by two electrical thrusters,
based on standard trolling motors, located at the rear
of the mechanical structure. They provide a maximum
thrust exceeding 250 N. These motors were modified to
receive power and commands from the computational
module, instead of the traditional manual controllers.
transportation, the pontoons are detached from the rigid
frame and the shafts of the motors change into a
horizontal position, so that all the structure can fit in the trunk of a car;
since no tools are required to reassemble it, Zarco is ready to operate
within a few minutes upon arrival at the mission site.
2 separate watertight enclosures that seat on the
aluminum frame: an energy module in the front and an
electronics module in the rear.
provided by deep-cycle lead-acid batteries, with a total
energy of 625 Wh. The energy module also holds
electronic protection circuits, with voltage and current
electronics module contains the main computer, the
navigation sensors and the motor power controllers.
computer is a PC-104 stack, with a power supply, the CPU,
a communications board and a solid-state disk. A long
range WiFi link provides communications to shore.
navigation system has two L1+L2 RTK GPS receivers, an
Inertial Measuring Unit and a digital compass.
plenty of room to accomodate payload and the electronics
enclosure has several spare connectors to provide energy
physical space for an extra enclosure with maximum base
dimensions of 500x300 mm, but this can be increased by
replacing some of the aluminum elements of the frame.