Controlling Minimally-Actuated Vehicles for Applications in Ocean Observation
Smith, Ryan N. & Huynh, Van T. (2012) Controlling Minimally-Actuated Vehicles for Applications in Ocean Observation. In Controlling minimally-actuated vehicles for applications in ocean observation, Elservier, Porto, Portugal, pp. 31-36.
Establishing a persistent presence in the ocean with an AUV to observe temporal variability of large-scale ocean processes requires a unique sensor platform. In this paper, we propose a strategy that utilizes ocean model predictions to increase the autonomy and control of Lagrangian or profiling floats for precisely this purpose. An A* planner is applied to a local controllability map generated from predictions of ocean currents to compute a path between prescribed waypoints that has the highest likelihood of successful execution. The control to follow the planned path is computed by use of a model predictive controller. This controller is designed to select the best depth for the vehicle to exploit ambient currents to reach the goal waypoint. Mission constraints are employed to simulate a practical data collection mission. Results are presented in simulation for a mission off the coast of Los Angeles, CA USA, and show surprising results in the ability of a Lagrangian float to reach a desired location.
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