Micro autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) need small-scale, powerful and safe propulsion systems especially when they are performing missions in pipes and other confined environments. However, the most conventional propulsion systems do not satisfy all three requirements: small, powerful and safe. A micro propulsion system meeting those requirements are developed based on the RIM propeller concept. It is compact and powerful; the complete motor-propeller assembly is 33mm in diameter, 12mm in depth and 16g in weight, and it is capable of producing 0.4N thrust in static water given a 7.1W power input. The paper presents the design, manufacturing and integration of the micro RIM propeller in an AUV.

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