Bottom Following for Survey Class Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

TitleBottom Following for Survey Class Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsBennett AB, Leonard JJ, Bellingham JG
Conference NameProc Int Symp on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology

Bottom-following, or maintaining a fixed altitude above an arbitrary surface, is important for underwater vehicles particularly those that survey large geographic areas. This feature is necessary for numerous tasks, including side-scan sonar mapping, photographic surveys, magnetic surveys and maneuvering in and around both manmade and natural structures. Current research at the MIT AUV Laboratory, starting with the simplest bottom-follower and moving through multiple iteration with successive improvemetns, is described. Along with results from various field tests with autonomous underwater vehicles, the paper presents findings from several simulations.