Thomas W. Vaneck, Claudia D. Rodriguez-Ortiz, Mads C. Schmidt, and Justin E. Manley

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: A prototype autonomous surface craft (ASC) has been developed at the MIT Sea Grant College Program’s Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory to collect bathymetric data in littoral regions economically. Potential uses of this data include coastal surveys and monitoring, mine countermeasure operations, and physical and biological oceanography. This paper describes the ASC and presents field experiment results. For bathymetric data to be of value, the precise location of each data point must be known. To accomplish this, the ASC uses a differentially corrected GPS-based fuzzy guidance controller to track to and cross a series of transect-defining waypoints. The fuzzy controller is programmed in C and downloaded to a small on-board computer for execution. The fuzzy controller was found to be relatively easy to develop (not requiring a complex mathematical model of the vehicle’s dynamics), simple to tune, and robust to external disturbances. Field test results are presented and show that the guidance controller performed well on complex paths.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 43, Number 4
Pages: 407 - 418
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