Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Motion Response: A Nonacoustic Tool for Blue Water Navigation

Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) use secondary velocity over ground measurements to aid the Inertial Navigation System (INS) to avoid unbounded drift in the point-to-point navigation solution. When operating in deep open ocean (i.e., in blue water—beyond the frequency-specific instrument range), the velocity measurements are either based on water column velocities or completely unavailable. In such scenarios, the velocity-relative-to-water measurements from an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) are often used for INS aiding. ADCPs have a blanking distance (typically ranging between 0.5 and 5 m) in proximity to the device in which the flow velocity data are undetectable. Hence, water velocities used to aid the INS solution can be significantly different from that near the vehicle and are subjected to significant noise. Previously, the authors introduced a nonacoustic method to calculate the water velocity components of a turbulent water column within the ADCP dead zone using the AUV motion response (referred to as the WVAM method). The current study analyzes the feasibility of incorporating the WVAM method within the INS by investigating the accuracy of it at different turbulence levels of the water column. Findings of this work demonstrate that the threshold limits of the method can be improved in the nonlinear ranges (i.e., at low and high levels of energy); however, by estimating a more accurate representation of vehicle hydrodynamic coefficients, this method has proven robust in a range of tidally induced flow conditions. The WVAM method, in its current state, offers significant potential to make a key contribution to blue water navigation when integrated within the vehicle's INS.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01601141
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 17 2016 3:45PM