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Control and application of minimally-actuated underwater vehicles

Smith, Ryan N. & Huynh, Van T. (2012) Control and application of minimally-actuated underwater vehicles. .

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    Abstract

    Establishing a persistent presence in the ocean with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle capable of observing temporal variability of large-scale ocean processes requires a unique sensor platform. In this paper, we examine the utility of Lagrangian profiling floats for such extended deployments. We propose a strategy that utilizes ocean model predictions to facilitate a basic level of autonomy to achieve general control of this minimally-actuated underwater vehicle. We extend experimentally validated techniques for utilising ocean current models to control under-actuated autonomous underwater vehicles by presenting this investigation into the application of these methods on profiling floats. With the appropriate vertical actuation, and utilising spatiotemporal variations in water speed and direction, we show that broad controllability results can be met. First, we apply an A* planner to a local controllability map generated from predictions of ocean currents. This computes a path between start and goal waypoints that has the highest likelihood of successful execution over a given duration. The computed depth plan is generated with a model predictive controller, and selects the depths for the vehicle so that ambient currents guide it toward the goal. Mission constraints are included to simulate and motivate a practical data collection mission. Results are presented in simulation for a mission off the coast of Los Angeles, CA USA, that show surprising results in the ability of a drifting vehicle to maintain a prescribed course and reach a desired location.

    Impact and interest:

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    ID Code: 51032
    Item Type: Journal Article
    Additional Information: Submitted to "IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering" for publication
    Keywords: autonomous underwater vehicles, minimal actuation, profiling floats, model predictive control
    Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Adaptive Agents and Intelligent Robotics (080101)
    Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING (090600) > Control Systems Robotics and Automation (090602)
    Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > MARITIME ENGINEERING (091100) > Special Vehicles (091106)
    Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
    Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
    Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
    Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Ryan N. Smith & Van T. Huynh
    Deposited On: 25 Jun 2012 08:42
    Last Modified: 28 Jun 2012 10:10

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