Range Only Localization and Station-Keeping
Inventors: Jeffery Kaeli, Gwyneth Packard, Carl Fiester, Dara Tebo, Mike Purcell
Intellectual Property: Patent Pending
Overview: During underwater explorations, acoustics play an essential role in communications, navigation, and localization objectives due to the lack of GPS signals and the limitations of inertial sensors. Acoustic ranges are measured between multiple points to obtain accurate triangulated measurements; including, between AUV and a seafloor beacon, AUV and surface vehicle, or ship and seafloor beacon. These measurements can be difficult to obtain because the water column causes an increased likelihood for acoustic ranges to encounter errors and outliers. Without external navigation fixes, underwater vehicles accrue uncertainties and are restrained to the uncertainties in range. This complication creates inaccurate localizations and limits communications to the vehicle.
Technology: This innovation is a software integration designed to enable AUVs to estimate the location of stationary seafloor beacons and perform adaptive behaviors using the location estimate. These behaviors allow the AUV to account for the initial errors encountered during acoustic range estimations and adapt to the accumulated uncertainty as it maneuvers. Implementation of the software algorithms would allow AUVs to localize and communicate more effectively in GPS-absent areas without the need for additional equipment to make up for errors.
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- Patent Pending