Cooperation among heterogeneous marine vehicles can offer several benefits to underwater applications, such as supporting the navigation of submerged robots by leveraging the information available to a surface vehicle. Within such context, this paper describes an acoustic positioning and communication protocol developed for the localisation of multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) by means of an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) equipped with an Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) device. To avoid packet collisions, access to the acoustic channel is managed through a time slot division mechanism. Unlike a classical Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) protocol, the approach considered in this work consists of a centralised scheduling handled by the ASV, in which AUVs are localised at regular time epoch but can transmit only when queried. This allows to prioritise the number of position measurements taken by the ASV and then relayed back to the submerged vehicles, with the final goal of improving the navigation accuracy of the latter. The solution is also designed to handle the latency of acoustic communication and to correctly associate each position measurement with the corresponding acquisition time. Furthermore, it does not require any a priori synchronisation between the clocks of the vehicles involved and ensures complete decoupling between their navigation algorithms. Experimental activities in very-shallow waters, involving an ASV and two target nodes, were carried out to validate the multi-AUVs positioning system and to provide a characterisation of its performance.

Acoustic positioning of multiple AUVs by an ASV: experimental validation and performance characterisation

Bresciani, Matteo;Tani, Simone;Caiti, Andrea;Costanzi, Riccardo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Cooperation among heterogeneous marine vehicles can offer several benefits to underwater applications, such as supporting the navigation of submerged robots by leveraging the information available to a surface vehicle. Within such context, this paper describes an acoustic positioning and communication protocol developed for the localisation of multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) by means of an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) equipped with an Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) device. To avoid packet collisions, access to the acoustic channel is managed through a time slot division mechanism. Unlike a classical Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) protocol, the approach considered in this work consists of a centralised scheduling handled by the ASV, in which AUVs are localised at regular time epoch but can transmit only when queried. This allows to prioritise the number of position measurements taken by the ASV and then relayed back to the submerged vehicles, with the final goal of improving the navigation accuracy of the latter. The solution is also designed to handle the latency of acoustic communication and to correctly associate each position measurement with the corresponding acquisition time. Furthermore, it does not require any a priori synchronisation between the clocks of the vehicles involved and ensures complete decoupling between their navigation algorithms. Experimental activities in very-shallow waters, involving an ASV and two target nodes, were carried out to validate the multi-AUVs positioning system and to provide a characterisation of its performance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1216815
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