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A brief review of the existing autonomous underwater vehicles, their types, design, movement abilities and missions is presented. It is shown, the shape optimization design and enhancement of their efficiency is the main problem for further development of multipurpose glider technologies. A comparative study of aerodynamic performance of three different shape designs (the airfoil NACA0022 based (I), flattened ellipsoidal (II) and cigar-type (III) bodies of the same volumes) has been carried out. Geometrical modelling, meshing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations have been carried out with AnSys15.0. The pathlines and wall shear stress distributions have been computed to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each shape. The lift and drag coefficients, aerodynamic quality, power index and pitching moment have been computed. The higher efficiency of the shape I/shape II at higher/lower angles of attack (> 20o and < 20o) has been found. The shape III develops high speeds at the same angles of attack and has higher manoeuvrability at relatively low aerodynamic quality. The comparative analysis of the flow capabilities of studied autonomous undersea vehicles proposes some design improvement for increasing their energy efficiency and flow stability.
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