Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Fellowship Reports
Underwater vehicles–both manned and unmanned–are critical in our efforts to explore and study the depths of the ocean. Most underwater sensors possess a relatively small field of view; this means they must be carried over large distances to achieve high spatial coverage and resolution. The vast amount of data these sensors collect is much more valuable if the location of the vehicle is precisely known at the time the data is collected. This gives rise to the maxim: The data is only as good as the navigation. Navigation remains a challenging problem for underwater vehicles. Fundamental limitations of sensing technology necessitate a multi-sensor approach to achieve robust, high precision navigation. This research addressed three1 critical problems in automatic realtime navigation for underwater vehicles: i) in situ alignment identification of navigation sensors, ii) dead reckoning through the water column, and iii) rigorous treatment of time-delayed position measurements. This research has developed novel approaches to solve each of these problems, and each approach is demonstrated using laboratory or field data from an underwater vehicle. These solutions can be considered separately as practical contributions to the science and art of realtime underwater navigation. Together, they promise to enable increased autonomy for underwater vehicles in the future
Stanway, M. Jordan, "Advanced Underwater Vehicle Navigation" (2011). Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Fellowship Reports. 21.