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Doppler Shift AUV Swarming

Overview: Swarm intelligence is a collective behavior composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralized control and self-organization - typically used in aircrafts and drones because of the access to GPS, high data rates, and low-cost hardware. Integration into underwater swarming intelligence has been stagnant due to limited access to GPS, Wi-Fi, expensive navigation, and low data rate communications. WHOI scientists and engineers developed a family of innovations to generate successful underwater swarming capabilities.

Doppler Shift Navigation

Inventors: Erin Fischell, Nicholas Rypkema, Henrik Schmidt, Jeff Kaeli
Publication No. US20190204430A1

Technology: An underwater, doppler-based acoustic navigation system uses a single hydrophone and at least one acoustic source to enable multiple AUVs to follow the acoustic source at relative positions. Additional acoustic sources further enable complex following patterns and precision. The system works with a “leader” AUV, equipped with an acoustic beacon and “follower” AUVs. The followers navigate by the Doppler Effect, a higher pitch indicates correct direction and lower pitch informs the AUVs that they need to redirect. The Doppler Shift Navigation System expands underwater robotics intelligence. With integration designed for low cost AUVs, creating swarms widens the range of scientific and commercial operations.

Doppler Beamforming

Inventors: Erin Fischell, Nick Rypkema
Intellectual Property: Patent Pending

Technology: Doppler Beamforming is a system integration designed for low-cost AUVs to create an inexpensive localization and speed estimation solution. The implementation of the solution can be used to create AUV swarming solutions or can be used in conjunction with a USBL to obtain a more precise speed estimation. Both solutions create the ability to bring low-cost AUVs the tools and power needed to perform in a variety of missions.


Inventors: Erin Fischell, Jeffery Kaeli
Intellectual Property: Patent Pending

Technology: Transcousters aid in enhancing underwater communications by converting physical qualities first into acoustic signals to map, measure, and navigate The sensors can increase transmission distances and provide real-time observations of quantities in the water.


To learn more about this opportunity please contact:

The Office for Technology Transfer

Additional Resources

Intellectual Property

  • “Doppler Shift Navigation System and Method of Using Same”
  • “Submerged Vehicle Localization System and Method”
  • “Device, System and Method of Adaptive Autonomy with Sensor Swarming”

Related Technologies

  • Doppler Beamforming
  • Transcouters

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