Implementation of an embedded sensor network for the coordination of Slocum gliders for coastal monitoring and observation
Smith, Ryan N., Das, Jnaneshwar , Heidarsson, Hordur , Pereira, Arvind , Caron, David A. , Jones, Burton H. , & Sukhatme, Gaurav S. (2009) Implementation of an embedded sensor network for the coordination of Slocum gliders for coastal monitoring and observation. In WUWNet 09 : Proceedings of the 4th ACM International Workshop on UnderWater Networks, ACM, Bechtel Engineering Center, Berkeley, California, pp. 1-8.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are revolutionizing oceanography through their versatility, autonomy and endurance. However, they are still an underutilized technology. For coastal operations, the ability to track a certain feature is of interest to ocean scientists. Adaptive and predictive path planning requires frequent communication with significant data transfer. Currently, most AUVs rely on satellite phones as their primary communication. This communication protocol is expensive and slow. To reduce communication costs and provide adequate data transfer rates, we present a hardware modification along with a software system that provides an alternative robust disruption- tolerant communications framework enabling cost-effective glider operation in coastal regions. The framework is specifically designed to address multi-sensor deployments. We provide a system overview and present testing and coverage data for the network. Additionally, we include an application of ocean-model driven trajectory design, which can benefit from the use of this network and communication system. Simulation and implementation results are presented for single and multiple vehicle deployments. The presented combination of infrastructure, software development and deployment experience brings us closer to the goal of providing a reliable and cost-effective data transfer framework to enable real-time, optimal trajectory design, based on ocean model predictions, to gather in situ measurements of interesting and evolving ocean features and phenomena.
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