This page is meant to be a storehouse for publications that reflect activities of interest to AUVAC and its members. If you have publications that should be added to this list please let us know and we will include them.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Independent Test and Evaluation

October 31, 2014 via - Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has a long history of contributing to unmanned undersea or underwater vehicle (UUV) programs sponsored by several Navy acquisition program offices. Those contributions span the systems engineering realm, including leadership of independent test and evaluation for prototypes and systems fielded for military use. One of the most enduring relationships has been with Program Manager Naval Sea Systems Command (Expeditionary Missions) (PMS-408) for its acquisition of UUVs applied to mine countermeasures (MCM) missions. Since 2002, APL has served as the independent test and evaluation agent for the Mk 18 UUV family of systems. The fielding of key components of the Mk 18 UUV family of systems was accelerated as part of an Office of the Secretary of Defense “Fast- Lane” program to meet an operational need in theater. As a result, Commander Fifth Fleet now has an improved operational MCM capability, including advanced sensors.



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Resource investigation for Kichiji rockfish by autonomous underwater vehicle in Kitami-Yamato bank off Northern Japan

August 20, 2014 via - Robomech Journal

Expensive kichiji rockfish is important catch for fishers and decreas significantly by over fishing. Common investigation method by the trawl for the fish is difficult to survey on rough terrain and need for big support of the ship. This paper proposes resource investigation method for kichiji rockfish using autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Tuna-Sand, and image processing method for precise measurement of the fish length. The AUV Tuna-Sand was developed for survey of material and energy resources in deep-sea such, and can observe natural seafloor automatically using only mounted sensors and devices. Our image processing makes a photograph possible to measure accurately the fish length by color correction for removing the unevenness of the brightness and distortion correction.

The AUV Tuna-Sand surveyed for 24 hours in Kitami-Yamato Bank off Northern Japan. The vehicle took about 5,300 pictures of the seafloor during five dives in the bank. 37 kichiji rockfish of about 90 to 340 mm long were in all photographs. The survey results showed the fish of 150 to 200 mm long was most often found in all dives although the number of the othSer long was not many. Six mosaic images made by our method showed that all kichiji rockfish stay on the seafloor by oneself without swam and the shortest distance between kichiji rockfish was 4.0 m.

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Automated Fault Diagnosis for an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

April 30, 2013 via - IEEE OES


This paper reports our results in using a discrete fault diagnosis system, Livingstone 2 (L2), on-board an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Autosub 6000. Due to the difficulty of communicating between an AUV and its operators, AUVs can benefit particularly from increased autonomy, of which fault diagnosis is a part. However, they are also restricted in their power consumption. We show that a discrete diagnosis system can detect and identify a number of faults that would threaten the health of an AUV, while also being sufficiently lightweight computationally to be deployed on-board the vehicle. Since AUVs also often have their missions designed just before deployment in response to data from previous missions, a diagnosis system that monitors the software as well as the hardware of the system is also very useful. We show how a software diagnosis model can be built automatically that can be integrated with the hardware model to diagnose the complete system. We show empirically that on Autosub 6000 this allows us to diagnose real vehicle faults that could potentially lead to the loss of the vehicle.

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An Aqueous Rechargeable Lithium Battery Using Coated Li Metal as Anode

March 7, 2013 via - Nature

New energy industry including electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage in smart grids requires energy storage systems of good safety, high reliability, high energy density and low cost. Here a coated Li metal is used as anode for an aqueous rechargeable lithium battery (ARLB) combining LiMn2O4 as cathode and 0.5 mol l21 Li2SO4 aqueous solution as electrolyte. Due to the ‘‘cross-over’’ effect of Li1 ions in the coating, this ARLB delivers an output voltage of about 4.0 V, a big breakthrough of the theoretic stable window of water, 1.229 V. Its cycling is very excellent with Coulomb efficiency of 100% except in the first cycle. Its energy density can be 446 Whkg21, about 80% higher than that for traditional lithium ion battery. Its power efficiency can be above 95%. Furthermore, its cost is low and safety is much reliable. It provides another chemistry for post lithium ion batteries.

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Assessing The Safety Of Lithium-Ion Batteries

February 11, 2013 via - Chemical and Engineering News

Lithium-ion batteries are back in the crosshairs after two safety incidents aboard Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplanes in January. Headlines everywhere drew readers to stories about flaming and smoldering batteries. Reports warned of these popular power packs’ tendency to overheat and burst into flames. Broadcasts pointed out that fires in portable electronic devices several years ago prompted manufacturers to recall millions of Li-ion laptop batteries.

But these batteries are statistically very reliable. “There’s a lot of mythology in the area of lithium-ion battery safety,” says Brian M. Barnett, a battery safety specialist at Lexington, Mass.-based technology development firm Tiax. Failure rates for rechargeable Li-ion batteries are on the order of one in 10 million cells, he says. “That’s not a reliability problem. It’s an exception.”

Yet exceptions can still be dangerous. As a result of the enormous number of Li-ion cells manufactured each year—about 4 billion in 2012, according to Barnett—some of those failures can lead to fires and serious safety incidents. Although the probability is tiny, the potential for mishap grows as Li-ion battery use surges. Adding to the concern is the scale issue. Li-ion batteries range from palm-sized or smaller packs weighing an ounce or less to 400-plus-lb electric vehicle batteries, and the larger devices can cause more serious problems if they fail.

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Antisubmarine warfare applications for autonomous underwater vehicles: The GLINT09 field trial results

June 22, 2012 via - Journal of Field Robotics

Surveillance in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) has traditionally been carried out by means of submarines or frigates with towed arrays. These techniques are manpower intensive. Alternative approaches have recently been suggested concerning distributed mobile and stationary sensors, such as sonobuoys and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). To field a fully operational system many technological hurdles need to be overcome. These include battery life, limited acoustic communications ranges, incorporating sonar signal processing on the AUVs embedded hardware and increasing autonomy to ensure that the system as a whole acts in a sensible and appropriate fashion. The main thrust of this paper is how the latter two issues have been addressed for a real experimental system and how the proposed solutions have been demonstrated at sea.

This paper describes on-going development at the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) to construct an autonomous distributed sensor system that uses AUVs for ASW applications. In a series of at sea experiments we have demonstrated real-time processing - incorporating traditional ASW processing as far as tracking - and adaptive autonomous behaviors, which concern AUV navigation to optimize target localization. This paper describes the hardware and software configurations that facilitated the rapid development of this system and details the recent at sea successes that have been demonstrated with our AUV, towed arrays and active acoustic sources. Results are given of our most recent at-sea trial, GLINT09, held in the summer of 2009, when an AUV with a towed array detected and maneuvered in response to an active source.

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Elemental Questions

March 23, 2012 via - National Fire Protection Association

As lithium-ion battery use increases, so do the concerns related to the fire-safety hazards of these devices. Through a series of research efforts and partnerships, NFPA is analyzing storage and safety issues surrounding the power source fueling hundreds of millions of devices — from iPhones to electric vehicles — worldwide.

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AURP: An AUV-Aided Underwater Routing Protocol for Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks

February 9, 2012 via - MDPI

Abstract: Deploying a multi-hop underwater acoustic sensor network (UASN) in a large area brings about new challenges in reliable data transmissions and survivability of network due to the limited underwater communication range/bandwidth and the limited energy of underwater sensor nodes. In order to address those challenges and achieve the objectives of maximization of data delivery ratio and minimization of energy consumption of underwater sensor nodes, this paper proposes a new underwater routing scheme, namely AURP (AUV-aided underwater routing protocol), which uses not only heterogeneous acoustic communication channels but also controlled mobility of multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). In AURP, the total data transmissions are minimized by using AUVs as relay nodes, which collect sensed data from gateway nodes and then forward to the sink. Moreover, controlled mobility of AUVs makes it possible to apply a short-range high data rate underwater channel for transmissions of a large amount of data. To the best to our knowledge, this work is the first attempt to employ multiple AUVs as relay nodes in a multi-hop UASN to improve the network performance in terms of data delivery ratio and energy consumption. Simulations, which are incorporated with a realistic underwater acoustic communication channel model, are carried out to evaluate the performance of the proposed scheme, and the results indicate that a high delivery ratio and low energy
consumption can be achieved.

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Constructing a Distributed AUV Network for Underwater Plume-Tracking Operations

September 6, 2011 via - International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks

Abstract—In recent years, there has been significant concern about the impacts of offshore oil spill plumes and harmful algal blooms on the coastal ocean environment and biology, as well as on the human populations adjacent to these coastal regions. Thus, it has become increasingly important to determine the 3-D extent of these ocean features (‘plumes’) and how they evolve over time. The ocean environment is largely inaccessible to sensing directly by humans, motivating the need for robots to intelligently sense the ocean for us. In this paper, we propose the use of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) network to track and predict plume shape and motion, discussing solutions
to the challenges of spatiotemporal data aliasing (coverage vs. resolution), underwater communication, AUV autonomy, data fusion, and coordination of multiple AUVs. A plume simulation is also developed here as the first step toward implementing behaviors for autonomous, adaptive plume tracking with AUVs, modeling a plume as a sum of Fourier orders and examining the resulting errors. This is then extended to include plume forecasting based on time variations, and future improvements and implementation are discussed.

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Design of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

March 13, 2011 via - InTech


There are concerns about the impact that global warming will have on our environment, and which will inevitably result in expanding deserts and rising water levels. While a lot of underwater vehicles are utilized, AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) were considered and chosen, as the most suitable tool for conduction survey concerning these global environmental problems. AUVs can comprehensive survey because the vehicle does not have to be connected to the support vessel by tether cable. When such underwater vehicles are made, it is necessary to consider about the following things.

  1. Seawater and Water Pressure Environment
  2. Sink
  3. There are no Gas or Battery Charge Stations
  4. Global Positioning System cannot use
  5. Radio waves cannot use.

In the paper, outline of above and how to deal about it are explained.

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Design of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

March 1, 2011 via - InTech

There are concerns about the impact that global warming will have on our environment, and which will inevitably result in expanding deserts and rising water levels. While a lot of underwater vehicles are utilized, AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) were considered and chosen, as the most suitable tool for conduction survey concerning these global environmental problems. AUVs can comprehensive survey because the vehicle does not have to be connected to the support vessel by tether cable. When such underwater vehicles are made, it is necessary to consider about the following things.

1) Seawater and Water Pressure Environment,
2) Sink,
3) There are no Gas or Battery Charge Stations,
4) Global Positioning System cannot use
5) Radio waves cannot use.

In the paper, outline of above and how deal about it are explained.

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Dynamic Modeling and Motion Simulation for A Winged Hybrid-Driven Underwater Glider

October 26, 2010 via - Chinese Ocean Engineering Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

PETREL, a winged hybrid-driven underwater glider is a novel and practical marine survey platform which combines the features of legacy underwater glider and conventional AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle). It can be treated as a multi-rigid-body system with a floating base and a particular hydrodynamic profile. In this paper, theorems on linear and angular momentum are used to establish the dynamic equations of motion of each rigid body and the effect of translational and rotational motion of internal masses on the attitude control are taken into consideration. In addition, due to the unique external shape with fixed wings and deflectable rudders and the dual-drive operation in thrust and glide modes, the approaches of building dynamic model of conventional AUV and hydrodynamic model of submarine are introduced, and the tailored dynamic equations of the hybrid glider are formulated. Moreover, the behaviors of motion in glide and thrust operation are analyzed based on the simulation and the feasibility of the dynamic model is validated by data from lake field trials.

Key words: hybrid-driven; underwater glider; autonomous underwater vehicle; dynamic modeling; momentum theorem

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Autonomous observations of the ocean biological carbon pump.

June 30, 2009 via - The Oceanography Societ


Prediction of the substantial biologically mediated carbon flows in a rapidly changing and acidifying ocean requires model simulations informed by observations of key carbon cycle processes on the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. From 2000 to 2004, the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) supported the development of the first low-cost, fully autonomous ocean profiling Carbon Explorers, which demonstrated that year-round, real-time observations of particulate organic carbon (POC) concentration and sedimentation could be achieved in the world’s ocean. NOPP also initiated the development of a particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) sensor suitable for operational deployment across all oceanographic platforms. As a result, PIC profile characterization that once required shipboard sample collection and shipboard or shore-based laboratory analysis is now possible to full ocean depth in real time using a 0.2-W sensor operating at 24 Hz. NOPP developments further spawned US Department of Energy support to develop the Carbon Flux Explorer, a free vehicle capable of following hourly variations of PIC and POC sedimentation from the near surface to kilometer depths for seasons to years and capable of relaying contemporaneous observations via satellite. We have demonstrated the feasibility of real-time, low-cost carbon observations that are of fundamental value to carbon prediction and that, when further developed, will lead to a fully enhanced global carbon observatory capable of real-time assessment of the ocean carbon sink, a needed constraint for assessment of carbon management
policies on a global scale.

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Underwater Glider Research at Memorial University

May 31, 2009 via - Journal of Oceanic Technology

Autonomous Underwater Gliders (AUGs) are becoming the tool of choice for oceanographers to collect in-situ data on the world’s oceans. Since the summer of 2006, the National Research Council-Institute for Ocean Technology (NRC-IOT) and Memorial University (MUN) have been exploring the potential for AUGs to gather oceanographic
information with application to the Newfoundland Shelf. Our group has now collected over a month’s worth of deployment data, and has flown over 700 km with AUGs. Preliminary work has involved testing these vehicles in our local environment and also the integration of new sensors into the platform.

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High-Resolution Mapping of Mass Wasting, Tectonic, and Volcanic Hazards Using the MBARI Mapping AUV

May 31, 2009 via - Rendiconti Online Società Geologica Italiana

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has developed an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for high resolution seafloor mapping. This vehicle is equipped with a 200 kHz multibeam sonar, 110/410 kHz sidescan sonar, and a 2-16 kHz subbottom profiler. From a 50 m altitude, the AUV achieves 1-meter lateral and 0.1-meter vertical bathymetric resolution and <1-meter resolution sidescan imagery. The subbottom profiler images subsurface structure at 0.1-meter resolution with up to 60-m penetration. Applications to geohazard mapping include mapping of recently active faults, slumps, submarine canyons, and volcanic terrains. Repeated surveys allow detection of morphological changes associated with active processes.

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An Overview of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Research and Testbed at PeRL

April 30, 2009 via - MTS

This article provides a general overview of the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) research thrusts being pursued within the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory (PeRL) at the University of Michigan. Founded in 2007, PeRL’s research centers on improving AUV autonomy via algorithmic advancements in environmentally based perceptual feedback for real-time mapping, navigation, and control.

Our three major research areas are (1) real-time visual simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), (2) cooperative multi-vehicle navigation, and (3) perceptiondriven control. Pursuant to these research objectives, PeRL has developed a new multi-AUV SLAM testbed based upon a modified Ocean-Server Iver2 AUV platform.

PeRL upgraded the vehicles with additional navigation and perceptual sensors for underwater SLAM research. In this article, we detail our testbed development, provide an overview of our major research thrusts, and put into context how our modified AUV testbed enables experimental real-world validation of these algorithms.

Keywords: AUVs, SLAM, navigation, mapping, testbed

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NOT Just a Bad Hair Day

October 1, 2008 via - US Naval Institute

Suzie’s hair gel is arriving in San Diego. But will a cheap and elusive mine or other explosive device give not just Suzie but the whole nation a lot more to worry about?

Threading her way through the channel of a congested San Diego harbor, the containership Devonshire Trader—stacked to the pilot house with shipping containers including Suzie’s Royal Paradise hair gel from New Zealand—is just moments away from the end of a routine, almost monotonous crossing of the Pacific. Without warning, a tower of seawater suddenly envelops both sides of the bow and a massive shudder passes down the length of the ship. With the deck under his feet rapidly taking on a foreboding list and reports of massive flooding in his ship’s forward compartments, the captain takes the only course of action he has left.

As the Coast Guard pieces together available facts, prudence requires initial treatment of the incident as a hostile act. With the possibility that a terrorist act has occurred in U.S. waters, the White House is informed. As investigators mull over the situation, the uncertainty of its cause disappears. Reports arrive that a cruise ship has been severely damaged by an underwater explosion in Seattle’s harbor and a petroleum tanker is burning in the Houston Ship Channel after a similar underwater event. Somehow, terrorists have pulled off coordinated attacks against U.S. ports and waterways––America’s soft underbelly. Coast Guard Captains of the Port quickly close all other ports and harbors from Maine to Guam to all but emergency traffic. Nothing else moves.

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March 31, 2008 via - U S Naval War College

A broad spectrum of nontraditional and asymmetric threats challenges U.S. maritime homeland security.1 The smuggling of drugs, arms, and people;vesselborne improvised explosive devices, like that used by terrorists against the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in October 2002; proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-explosive weapons of mass destruction and disruption; piracy and organized crime; overexploitation of marine resources and the destruction of marine habitats; environmental attacks and trade disruption; political and religious extremism; mass migration flows; global health threats (e.g., the spread of infectious diseases like SARS and avian flu)— all these and more pose far-reaching dangers for American security interests at home and abroad. Under the cloak of legal activity, groups that would do us harm can enter the U.S. homeland anywhere along more than ninety-five thousand miles of coastlines and through some 360 ports from Maine to Guam.

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Underwater Gliders for Ocean Research

December 1, 2004 via - Marine Technology Society

Underwater gliders are autonomous vehicles that profile vertically by controlling buoyancy and move horizontally on wings. Gliders are reviewed, from their conception by Henry Stommel as an extension of autonomous profiling floats, through their development in three models, and including their first deployments singly and in numbers. The basics of glider function are discussed as implemented by University of Washington in Seaglider, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Spray, and Webb Research in Slocum. Gliders sample in the archetypical modes of sections and of “virtual moorings.” Preliminary results are presented from a recent demonstration project that used a network of gliders off Monterey. A wide range of sensors has already been deployed on gliders, with many under current development, and an even wider range of future possibilities. Glider networks appear to be one of the best approaches to achieving subsurface spatial resolution necessary for ocean research.

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Seaglider: A Long-Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Oceanographic Research

October 1, 2001 via - IEEE OES

Seagliders are small, reusable autonomous underwater vehicles designed to glide from the ocean surface to a programmed depth and back while measuring temperature, salinity, depth-averaged current, and other quantities along a sawtooth trajectory through the water. Their low hydrodynamic drag and wide pitch control range allows glide slopes in the range 0.2 to 3. They are designed for missions in range of several thousand kilometers and durations of many months. Seagliders are commanded remotely and report their measurements in near real time via wireless telemetry. The development and operation of Seagliders and the results of field trials in Puget Sound are reported.

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