Vertical plane obstacle avoidance and control of the REMUS autonomous underwater vehicle using forward look sonar
Hemminger, Daniel L.
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Current rates of technological advancement continue to translate into changes on our battlefields. Aerial robots capable of gathering reconnaissance along with unmanned underwater vehicles capable of defusing enemy minefields provide evidence that machines are playing key roles once played by humans within our military. This thesis explores one of the major problems facing both commercial and military UUVs to date. Successfully navigating in unfamiliar environments and maneuvering autonomously to avoid obstacles is a problem that has yet to be fully solved. Using a simulated 2-D ocean environment, the work of this thesis provides results of numerous REMUS simulations that model the vehicle's flight path over selected sea bottoms. Relying on a combination of sliding mode control and feedforward preview control, REMUS is able to locate obstacles such as seawalls using processed forward look sonar images. Once recognized, REMUS maneuvers to avoid the obstacle according to a Gaussian potential function. In summary, the integration of feedforward preview control and sliding mode control results in an obstacle avoidance controller that is not only robust, but also autonomous.
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