Phoenix autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV): networked control of multiple analog and digital devices using LonTalk
Young, Forrest C
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The purpose of this thesis is to simplify analog and digital device control inside the Phoenix autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Phoenix is required to process many data information streams associated with a variety of different sensors. Real time processing is required both for input sensing and for output directing. As presently configured, hardware devices aboard the Phoenix are manually connected and configured using parallel ports, serial ports, analog to digital (A/D) and digital to analog (D/A) controller hardware. Current hardware control within Phoenix connects all devices individually to a single computer. This approach is cumbersome, error prone and does not scale. This project investigates the feasibility of using Echelon LonWorks hardware and LonTalk protocol as a faster and scalable networked robot control system. LonWorks/LonTalk is a flexible A/D D/A hardware networking technology that provides reliable communication, decentralized topology with no single point of failure, easy extensibility, excellent throughput, and interoperability for a wide variety of hardware. This project builds and tests a prototype LonTalk network that connects all Phoenix devices. This network demonstrates the capability of using LonWorks to control various types of hardware and support rapid component integration onboard the Phoenix. Successful demonstration of a LonTalk solution eliminates a critical barrier to Phoenix progress and makes robot execution much more robust
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