Planning and implementing trajectories for autonomous underwater vehicles to track evolving ocean processes based on predictions from a regional ocean model

Ryan N. Smith, Yi Chao, Peggy P. Li, David A. Caron, Burton H. Jones, Gaurav S. Sukhatme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations

Abstract

Path planning and trajectory design for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) is of great importance to the oceanographic research community because automated data collection is becoming more prevalent. Intelligent planning is required to maneuver a vehicle to high-valued locations to perform data collection. In this paper, we present algorithms that determine paths for AUVs to track evolving features of interest in the ocean by considering the output of predictive ocean models. While traversing the computed path, the vehicle provides near-real-time, in situ measurements back to the model, with the intent to increase the skill of future predictions in the local region. The results presented here extend preliminary developments of the path planning portion of an end-to-end autonomous prediction and tasking system for aquatic, mobile sensor networks. This extension is the incorporation of multiple vehicles to track the centroid and the boundary of the extent of a feature of interest. Similar algorithms to those presented here are under development to consider additional locations for multiple types of features. The primary focus here is on algorithm development utilizing model predictions to assist in solving the motion planning problem of steering an AUV to high-valued locations, with respect to the data desired. We discuss the design technique to generate the paths, present simulation results and provide experimental data from field deployments for tracking dynamic features by use of an AUV in the Southern California coastal ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1475-1497
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Robotics Research
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

Keywords

  • Algal bloom
  • autonomous glider
  • autonomous underwater vehicles
  • feature tracking
  • ocean model predictions
  • path planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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