A geometric approach to trajectory design for an autonomous underwater vehicle : surveying the bulbous bow of a ship
Smith, Ryan N., Singh, Shashi B., Invernizzi, Luca, Cazzaro, Dario, Choi, Song K., Mariani, Giacomo, & Chyba, Monique (2010) A geometric approach to trajectory design for an autonomous underwater vehicle : surveying the bulbous bow of a ship. Acta Applicandae Mathematicae. (In Press)
In this paper, we present a control strategy design technique for an autonomous underwater vehicle based on solutions to the motion planning problem derived from differential geometric methods. The motion planning problem is motivated by the practical application of surveying the hull of a ship for implications of harbor and port security. In recent years, engineers and researchers have been collaborating on automating ship hull inspections by employing autonomous vehicles. Despite the progresses made, human intervention is still necessary at this stage. To increase the functionality of these autonomous systems, we focus on developing model-based control strategies for the survey missions around challenging regions, such as the bulbous bow region of a ship. Recent advances in differential geometry have given rise to the field of geometric control theory. This has proven to be an effective framework for control strategy design for mechanical systems, and has recently been extended to applications for underwater vehicles. Advantages of geometric control theory include the exploitation of symmetries and nonlinearities inherent to the system.
Here, we examine the posed inspection problem from a path planning viewpoint, applying recently developed techniques from the field of differential geometric control theory to design the control strategies that steer the vehicle along the prescribed path. Three potential scenarios for surveying a ship?s bulbous bow region are motivated for path planning applications. For each scenario, we compute the control strategy and implement it onto a test-bed vehicle. Experimental results are analyzed and compared with theoretical predictions.
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