A computer simulation study of mission planning and control for the NPS autonomous underwater vehicle
Nordman, Douglas B.
McGhee, Robert B.
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Autonomous vehicles will operate where humans cannot or do not want to go. The last·decade's advances in computer· processor capability and speed, component miniaturization, signal processing, and high-energy-density power supplies have made remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) a reality. These reliable, long-range, highendurance vehicles now perform a number of tasks in research, industrial, and military applications, but they are still incapable of truly autonomous behavior. The U.S. Navy has identified a number of autonomous vehicle missions, and the Naval Postgraduate School is extending ROV technology to build an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The mission controller for the NPS AUV is a knowledge-based artificial intelligence (AI) system requiring thorough analysis and testing before the AUV is operational. Rapid prototyping of this software has been demonstrated by developing controller code on a LISP machine and using an Ethernet link with a graphics workstation to simulate the controller's environment. This thesis updates and improves the earlier simulator and its hardware, and describes the development of a new testing simulator designed to examine AUV controller subsystems and vehicle models before integrating them with the full AUV for its test environment missions. This AUV simulator is fully autonomous once initial mission parameters are selected.
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