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A new autonomous underwater vehicle for imaging research


Chris Roman, Oscar Pizarro, Ryan Eustice and Hanumant Singh, A new autonomous underwater vehicle for imaging research. In Proceedings of the IEEE/MTS OCEANS Conference and Exhibition, pages 153-156, September 2000.


Currently, unmanned underwater vehicles either tend to be cumbersome and complex to run, or operationally simple, but not quite suitable platforms for deep water imaging. Aware of the currently existing capabilities of unmanned unerwater vehicles, this paper presents an alternative design in the form of a new low cost and easier to use autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for imaging research. The objective of thie vehicle is to serve as a readily available and operationally simple tool that allows rapid testing of imaging algorithms in areas such as: photommosaicking, 3D imager reconstruction from a single camera, image based navigation, and multi-sensor fusion of bathymetry and optical data. These are all current topics of research within the Deep Submergence Lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, but that lack a devoted and specific platform to their study. Regarding the new vehicle's operational simplicity, it is intended to be small boat deployable with an operation time of ten hours. The vehcle will also have the cabability for scientific work in waters up to 2000 meters in depth. This deth restriction represents a breakpoint in vehicle cost and design complexity while still providing a large area of survey interest. Initially, the vehicle will be primarily devoted to optical imaging close to the ocean floor, but its design will allow for future sensor integration. Therefore, key design parameters in the new vehicle area: hovering capability, passive stability, and object avoidance. An overview of the vehicle's first iteration design philosophy and key subsystems along iwth a preliminary dynamic model and results of hydrodynamic testing are described herein.

Bibtex entry

@INPROCEEDINGS { croman-2000a,
    AUTHOR = { Chris Roman and Oscar Pizarro and Ryan Eustice and Hanumant Singh },
    TITLE = { A new autonomous underwater vehicle for imaging research },
    BOOKTITLE = { Proceedings of the IEEE/MTS OCEANS Conference and Exhibition },
    YEAR = { 2000 },
    MONTH = { September },
    VOLUME = { 1 },
    PAGES = { 153--156 },