Autonomous underwater vehicles: development and implementation of time and energy efficient trajectories
Chyba, Monique, Haberkorn, Thomas, Smith, Ryan N., & Choi, Song K. (2008) Autonomous underwater vehicles: development and implementation of time and energy efficient trajectories. Ship Technology Research, 55(2), pp. 36-48.
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Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are increasingly used, both in military and civilian applications. These vehicles are limited mainly by the intelligence we give them and the life of their batteries. Research is active to extend vehicle autonomy in both aspects. Our intent is to give the vehicle the ability to adapt its behavior under different mission scenarios (emergency maneuvers versus long duration monitoring). This involves a search for optimal trajectories minimizing time, energy or a combination of both.
Despite some success stories in AUV control, optimal control is still a very underdeveloped area. Adaptive control research has contributed to cost minimization problems, but vehicle design has been the driving force for advancement in optimal control research. We look to advance the development of optimal control theory by expanding the motions along which AUVs travel. Traditionally, AUVs have taken the role of performing the long data gathering mission in the open ocean with little to no interaction with their surroundings, MacIver et al. (2004). The AUV is used to find the shipwreck, and the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) handles the exploration up close. AUV mission profiles of this sort are best suited through the use of a torpedo shaped AUV, Bertram and Alvarez (2006), since straight lines and minimal (0 deg - 30 deg) angular displacements are all that are necessary to perform the transects and grid lines for these applications. However, the torpedo shape AUV lacks the ability to perform low-speed maneuvers in cluttered environments, such as autonomous exploration close to the seabed and around obstacles, MacIver et al. (2004). Thus, we consider an agile vehicle capable of movement in six degrees of freedom without any preference of direction.
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