Underwater Acoustic Localization for Small Submersibles

Journal of Field Robotics (intl. journal) Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 40-69, 2011

Navinda Kottege & Uwe R. Zimmer

This article discusses the complete processing chain of a high-precision as well as robust underwater localization method. Range, azimuth, as well as relative heading is determined for ranges of up to 90m. For ranges up to 10m the measured precision is 0.05m for range, 2 for direction, and 5 for heading of neighboring vehicles. The system is also designed to be deployable in swarms of vehicles as acoustic localization signals are separated by time-slots and Maximum Length Sequence (MLS) signatures. The proposed method is based on the consequent exploitation of MLS broadband signal characteristics and the exploration of several methods for each vehicle to estimate ranges, azimuths and headings of neighboring vehicles. An existing radio based swarm communication system provides additional support and leads to enhanced measurement precision and interference robustness. The capabilities and limitations of the proposed systems are experimentally determined and discussed.

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