Persistent ocean monitoring with underwater gliders : towards accurate reconstruction of dynamic ocean processes
Smith, Ryan N., Schwager, Mac, Smith, Stephen L., Rus, Daniela, & Sukhatme, Gaurav S. (2011) Persistent ocean monitoring with underwater gliders : towards accurate reconstruction of dynamic ocean processes. In Proceedings of 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), Shanghai International Convention Center, Shanghai.
Ocean processes are dynamic and complex events that occur on multiple different spatial and temporal scales. To obtain a synoptic view of such events, ocean scientists focus on the collection of long-term time series data sets. Generally, these time series measurements are continually provided in real or near-real time by fixed sensors, e.g., buoys and moorings. In recent years, an increase in the utilization of mobile sensor platforms, e.g., Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, has been seen to enable dynamic acquisition of time series data sets. However, these mobile assets are not utilized to their full capabilities, generally only performing repeated transects or user-defined patrolling loops. Here, we provide an extension to repeated patrolling of a designated area. Our algorithms provide the ability to adapt a standard mission to increase information gain in areas of greater scientific interest. By implementing a velocity control optimization along the predefined path, we are able to increase or decrease spatiotemporal sampling resolution to satisfy the sampling requirements necessary to properly resolve an oceanic phenomenon. We present a path planning algorithm that defines a sampling path, which is optimized for repeatability. This is followed by the derivation of a velocity controller that defines how the vehicle traverses the given path. The application of these tools is motivated by an ongoing research effort to understand the oceanic region off the coast of Los Angeles, California. The computed paths are implemented with the computed velocities onto autonomous vehicles for data collection during sea trials. Results from this data collection are presented and compared for analysis of the proposed technique.
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