Keane, J and Forrest, A and Battle, D and Duffy, JT and Johannsson, H and Sammut, K, Homing for autonomous multi-platform docking, Proceedings of the Pacific International Maritime Conference 2015, 6-8 October, Sydney Exhibition Centre, Glebe Island, Sydney, pp. 1-14. (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]
The coordination of multiple autonomous platforms is becoming increasingly prevalent in the maritime sector. The inaugural Robot-X competition in Singapore, hosted by the United States Office of Naval Research (US ONR) in 2014, highlighted and promoted autonomous maritime capabilities in the Asia Pacific region. The aim of this paper is to detail the homing phase of the docking of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) with an acoustic beacon to simplify and expedite recovery of the vehicle.
Simulations were conducted to demonstrate the homing phase of the docking process in preparation for sea trials in Iceland, June 2015. These sea trials were achieved by implementing the Mission Oriented Operating Suite (MOOS) as a backseat driver on a Teledyne Gavia AUV, and extending adaptive manoeuvring capabilities with a custom trilateration-for-localisation algorithm; developed in C++ using the MOOS libraries. The robustness of the homing algorithm was verified using log files from missions conducted with the Gavia AUV in Antarctica in 2010. This is the first time such an application has been developed for the Teledyne Gavia. Ultimately, this customised homing algorithm will allow any AUV to home to a standalone acoustic beacon (stationary or underway).
Demonstration of this homing behaviour through the sea trials demonstrates the capacity of the AUV to process data collected by on-board systems in order to autonomously make decisions regarding route selection and navigation. The capability for a platform to deviate from initial mission parameters is vital for the long-term aim of this project; the autonomous multi-platform docking between an AUV and an Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV).