Precision control and maneuvering of the Phoenix autonomous underwater vehicle for entering a recovery tube
Davis, Duane T.
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Because of range limitations imposed by speed and power supplies, covert launch and recovery of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) near the operating area will be required for their use in many military applications. This thesis documents the implementation of precision control and planning facilities on the Phoenix AUV that will be required to support recovery in a small tube and provides a preliminary study of issues involved with AUV recovery by submarines. Implementation involves the development of low-level behaviors for sonar and vehicle control, mid-level tactics for recovery planning, and a mission planning system for translating high-level goals into an executable mission. Sonar behaviors consist of modes for locating and tracking objects, while vehicle control behaviors provide the ability to drive to and maintain a position relative to a tracked object. Finally, a mission-planning system allowing graphical specification of mission objectives and recovery parameters is implemented. Results of underwater virtual world and in-water testing show that precise AUV control based on sonar data and its use by higher-level tactics to plan and control recovery. Additionally, the mission-planning expert system has been shown to reduce mission planning time by approximately two thirds and results in missions with fewer logical and programming errors than manually generated missions
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