ISSN 2075-1087, Gyroscopy and Navigation, 2017, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 209–216. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2017.
Original Russian Text © Yu.V. Vaulin, F.S. Dubrovin, A.F. Scherbatyuk, 2017, published in Giroskopiya i Navigatsiya, 2017, No. 1, pp. 64–77.
Some Algorithms for Determining an Unknown Initial Position
of AUV Using Information from a Single Beacon Navigation System
Yu. V. Vaulin
, F. S. Dubrovin
, and A. F. Scherbatyuk
Institute of Marine Technology Problems, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, Russia
Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia
Received October 17, 2016
Abstract⎯Determination of the unknown initial position of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) using
information on the distance to a single mobile hydro-acoustic beacon (MHB) transported by an autonomous
surface vehicle (ASV) is discussed. Three algorithms used to solve the problem are described. Some results of
the algorithms performance obtained during the sea trials with the use of a marine autonomous robotic com-
plex (MARC), including an AUV and ASV, are considered.
In deep-sea missions, it takes rather a long period
of time for an AUV to submerge before it reaches the
height above the bottom level required for the opera-
tion of the Doppler log. Over this period, the AUV
horizontal drift caused by currents may be as much as
several hundred meters. In this connection, special
measures are needed to refine the AUV position
before the main mission starts. In this paper, we con-
sider algorithms for determining the unknown initial
position of an AUV after submersion has been com-
pleted, just before the beginning of the mission. At
present, the AUV underwater position is most com-
monly determined by range-measuring hydroacoustic
navigation systems (HANS) [1, 2, 4, 5, 7–9, 13],
including those with a single mobile beacon [3, 6, 10–
12, 14, 15].
The drawback of traditional long-baseline HANS
is that their application involves deployment and cali-
bration of a network of bottom beacons before the
operations start as well as their surfacing after the
operations are over. Such operations may take up sev-
eral days, and in so doing, there is a risk of losing some
beacons. In addition, the operation range of such sys-
tems does no exceed 10–15 km. In the case of
extended areas, the system has to be deployed many
times, which significantly increases the time and cost
of the mission. Higher mobility of the navigation sys-
tem is provided by HANS with a synthesized long
base, using a single MHB. Modem hydroacoustic
communication used in HANS makes it possible for
the AUV and MHB to exchange packets of navigation
data and, at the same time, measure the time of the
acoustic signal propagation between them.
To determine the unknown initial position of the
AUV, the following procedure is proposed. After the
completion of the dive, before the mission starts, the
AUV hovers over the bottom using data from the
onboard vision system. A series of measurements of
distances to the MHB installed aboard the ASV is
taken to estimate the AUV position. The MHB coor-
dinates are measured using a high-precision GNSS
receiver aboard the ASV.
Various methods are used to solve a similar prob-
lem of coordination of bottom hydroacoustic
responder beacons [21–23]. However, a distinctive
and significant feature of this task is that the position
of each beacon is determined aboard the supply vessel.
In this paper, we solve a fundamentally different task:
to determine the AUV position in automatic mode
directly aboard the AUV.
We consider several algorithms for this problem
solution. One of them uses the least-squares method
to obtain an estimate of the AUV initial coordinates
and the effective speed of sound propagation in water.
The second algorithm consists in searching through
the solutions in a certain area with a specified step.
The third algorithm is based on the trilateration
method. Some results of the algorithms performance
obtained during the sea trials with the use of MARC,
including an AUV and ASV, are discussed.
This paper considers the problem of determining
the unknown initial position of an AUV based on the
information on the distance to the single MHB
installed on the ASV. It is assumed that the coordi-