The autonomous underwater vehicle emergency localization system: an under ice AUV tracking technology for over-the-horizon operations

Lewis, Ronald S. (2015) The autonomous underwater vehicle emergency localization system: an under ice AUV tracking technology for over-the-horizon operations. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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There is an inherent risk of loss that accompanies any operations of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) technology. This complexity and risk are increased for AUV missions that are conducted beneath ice and in harsh environmental conditions (i.e. extreme cold, compromised visibility, etc.). Risk-based methodologies have been developed to quantify the risk of loss for specific AUV platforms prior to deployments. Their goal is to identify and mitigate where possible the significant contributors (technical or otherwise) to the overall risk of a specific operation. Not surprisingly, there is an abundant amount of literature related to successful AUV missions; however, there has been very little published work related to AUV loss. Specifically, this author is not aware of any examples of a developed procedure to employ during an AUV loss event to date, much less specific algorithms developed to locate a missing AUV. This is a subset of the AUV tracking or positioning that is rarely given specific treatment. The motivating problem is based on the loss event of an AUV during polar operations. For example, (i) the vehicle might navigate outside of its predefined spatial area through some fault or error, or, (ii) its mission involves over-the-horizon operations, i.e. beyond the range of standard acoustical tracking technologies. In either circumstance, at the end of its pre-programmed mission, the AUV fails to return to the base station. Such an eventuality defines the need for reliable, long-range acoustic tracking capability that is able to coarsely localize the AUV and subsequently enable communications and/or recovery of the AUV. The thesis describes a novel approach for an acoustic positioning system for AUV localization in harsh environments with non-standard acoustic challenges that can be implemented using only basic acoustic technology, a basic single-beacon, singlehydrophone (SBSH) system. Inversive geometric techniques are applied for source localization of a one-way traveling, asynchronous acoustic signal. This differs from the usual methods of spherical, two-way direct flight measurement based on time of arrival (TOA), or hyperbolic, one-way time difference of arrival (TDOA) target tracking for transmission based on a purely Euclidean geometry. This is a novel approach to the problem of localizing an AUV. A second method of solving the non-linear system of equations that arise from the problem using the SBSH approach is derived. Both methods, the novel Apollonian inversion geometry localization (AIGL) and the non linear system localization (NLSL), are evaluated in simulation and using live field data. It will be shown that the novel algorithm performs comparable to the standard method of solving the nonlinear systems resulting from a SBSH approach. Furthermore, in certain situations it improves the localization result.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 11941
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 176-192).
Keywords: Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Localization, Underwater acoustics
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: December 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Autonomous vehicles--Automatic control; Submersibles--Automatic control; Underwater acoustics; Acoustic localization--Mathematical models; Inversions (Geometry)

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