Advanced Perception, Navigation and Planning for Autonomous In-Water Ship Hull Inspection

TitleAdvanced Perception, Navigation and Planning for Autonomous In-Water Ship Hull Inspection
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHover FS, Eustice RM, Kim A, Englot BJ, Johnnsson H, Kaess M, Leonard JJ
Volume31
Pagination1445-1464
Abstract

Inspection of ship hulls and marine structures using autonomous underwater vehicles has emerged as a unique and challenging application of robotics The problem poses rich questions in physical design and operation, perception and navigation, and planning, driven by difficulties arising from the acoustic environment, poor water quality and the highly complex structures to be inspected In this paper, we develop and apply algorithms for the central navigation and planning problems on ship hulls These divide into two classes, suitable for the open, forward parts of a typical monohull, and for the complex areas around the shafting, propellers and rudders On the open hull, we have integrated acoustic and visual mapping processes to achieve closed-loop control relative to features such as weld-lines and biofouling In the complex area, we implemented new large-scale planning routines so as to achieve full imaging coverage of all the structures, at a high resolution We demonstrate our approaches in recent operations on naval ships

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