Acoustic based tactical control of underwater vehicles
Marr, William J.
Healey, Anthony J.
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Advances in command and control of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) using acoustic communications are crucial to future Fleet objectives, particularly in Very Shallow Water Mine Countermeasures (VSW MCM). Understanding of the capability to redirect missions, provide relatively high rate downloads of mission information, and perform cooperative tracking for multi-vehicle systems is limited to some bounding data based on fixed node experiments. The main objectives of this dissertation were to investigate and demonstrate the capabilities of tactical acoustic control of a dynamic, operational underwater vehicle in the Very Shallow Water (VSW) and Shallow Water ocean environment. This necessarily required studies on the limitations of Acoustic Control and relatively High Data Rate Transfer when using commercial acoustic modems in underwater vehicles and investigation of their acoustic transmission characteristics. Comprehensive empirical evidence through field validation with the ARIES vehicle indicated that reduced ranges were required for successful acoustic communications in a realistic shallow water environment. A simulation was developed to demonstrate a solution for dealing with reduced range and conducting multi-vehicle behaviors for cooperative tracking and acoustic data transfer.
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