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Acoustic search and detection of oil plumes using an autonomous underwater vehicle


Hwang, J and Bose, N and Nguyen, HD and Williams, G, Acoustic search and detection of oil plumes using an autonomous underwater vehicle, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 8, (8) Article 618. ISSN 2077-1312 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license

DOI: doi:10.3390/jmse8080618


We introduce an adaptive sampling method that has been developed to support the Backseat Driver control architecture of the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) Explorer autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The design is based on an acoustic detection and in-situ analysis program that allows an AUV to perform automatic detection and autonomous tracking of an oil plume. The method contains acoustic image acquisition, autonomous triggering, and thresholding in the search stage. A new biomimetic search pattern, the bumblebee flight path, was designed to maximize the spatial coverage in the oil plume detection phase. The effectiveness of the developed algorithm was validated through simulations using a two-dimensional planar plume model and a 90-degree scanning sensor model. The results demonstrate that the bumblebee search design combined with a genetic solution for the Traveling Salesperson Problem outperformed a conventional lawnmower survey, reducing the AUV travel distance by up to 75.3%. Our plume detection strategy, using acoustic sensing, provided data of plume location, distribution, and density, over a sector in contrast with traditional chemical oil sensors that only provide readings at a point.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), adaptive sampling, oil spill delineation, plume recognition, acoustic sensing, scanning sonar, traveling salesperson problem, biomimetic method
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Maritime engineering
Research Field:Special vehicles
Objective Division:Defence
Objective Group:Defence
Objective Field:Intelligence, surveillance and space
UTAS Author:Hwang, J (Miss Jimin Hwang)
UTAS Author:Bose, N (Professor Neil Bose)
UTAS Author:Nguyen, HD (Dr Hung Nguyen)
UTAS Author:Williams, G (Mr Guy Williams)
ID Code:142000
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:NC Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Deposited On:2020-12-08
Last Modified:2022-08-22
Downloads:16 View Download Statistics

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