Controlling Minimally-Actuated Vehicles for Applications in Ocean Observation

Ryan N. Smith, Van T Huynh
2012 IFAC Proceedings Volumes  
Establishing a persistent presence in the ocean with an AUV to observe temporal variability of large-scale ocean processes requires a unique sensor platform. In this paper, we propose a strategy that utilizes ocean model predictions to increase the autonomy and control of Lagrangian or profiling floats for precisely this purpose. An A* planner is applied to a local controllability map generated from predictions of ocean currents to compute a path between prescribed waypoints that has the
more » ... likelihood of successful execution. The control to follow the planned path is computed by use of a model predictive controller. This controller is designed to select the best depth for the vehicle to exploit ambient currents to reach the goal waypoint. Mission constraints are employed to simulate a practical data collection mission. Results are presented in simulation for a mission off the coast of Los Angeles, CA USA, and show surprising results in the ability of a Lagrangian float to reach a desired location.
doi:10.3182/20120410-3-pt-4028.00007 fatcat:qjeuhaobknhxfg7w2t5tvb5dve