Precision Control of Agile Underwater Vehicles
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Precision control of underwater vehicles is complicated by the lack of accurate dynamic models, changing vehicle configurations (including mid-mission changes), and large environmental disturbances. Yet, close-proximity Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) operations are required for a variety of missions, including operations close to other objects (e.g., ships, submarines, divers, etc.), docking, and high-resolution underwater ISR missions. This study investigated the use of advanced control and navigation techniques for the control of agile, hover-capable AUVs. This effort builds on the platform development effort, as well as ongoing student research on detailed 3-D mapping of the operating environment and accurate terrain- relative navigation. Students developed and implemented planning and control concepts on the existing physical platform and tested the approaches during frequent ocean-based experiments. Students were able to explore applications of precisely controlled agile platforms appropriate to support of a variety of Naval commands, including USW, NSW, EOD, and Salvage. The report includes research accomplished by students and faculty with the Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research (CAVR). Part of this research was conducted in conjunction with the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Objective (NEEEMO) Experiment conducted at the Florida International University (FIU) Aquarius undersea habitat in Key Largo, FL.
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