Dynamic Positioning of Beacon Vehicles for Coop- erative Underwater Navigation

TitleDynamic Positioning of Beacon Vehicles for Coop- erative Underwater Navigation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBahr A, Leonard JJ, Martinoli A
Conference LocationAlgarve, Portugal

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are used for an ever increasing range of applications due to the maturing of the technology. Due to the absence of the GPS signal underwater, the correct estimation of its position is a challenge for submerged vehicles. One promising strategy to mitigate this problem is to use a group of AUVs where one or more assume the role of a beacon vehicle which has a very accurate position estimate due to an expensive navigation suite or frequent surfacings. These beacon vehicles broadcast their position and the remaining survey vehicles can use this position information and intra-vehicle ranges to update their position estimate. The effectiveness of this approach strongly depends on the geometry between the beacon vehicles and the survey vehicles. The trajectories of the beacon vehicles should thus be planned with the goal to minimize the position uncertainty of the survey vehicles. We propose a distributed algorithm which dynamically computes the locally optimal position for a beacon vehicle using only information obtained from broadcast communication of the survey vehicles. It does not need prior information about the survey vehicles’ trajectory and can be used for any group size of beacon and survey vehicles.