J Shanghai Jiaotong Univ Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 281-297.doi: 10.1007/s12204-022-2441-6

• Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering •     Next Articles

Solution to Long-Range Continuous and Precise Positioning in Deep Ocean for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Using Acoustic Range Estimation and Inertial Sensor Measurements

YANG Tao (杨 涛), ZHAO Jiankang∗ (赵健康)   

  1. (School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China)
  • Received:2021-09-26 Online:2022-05-28 Published:2022-06-23

Abstract: Although advances in research into autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have been made to extend their working depth and endurance, underwater experiments and missions remain to be restricted by the positioning performance of AUVs. With the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) precluded due to the rapid attenuation of radio signals in underwater environments, acoustic positioning methods serve as an effective substitution. A long-range continuous and precise positioning solution for AUVs in deep ocean is proposed in this study, relying on acoustic signals from beacons at the same depth and aided by onboard inertial sensors. A signal system is investigated to provide time of arrival (TOA) estimation in a resolution of milliseconds. Without pre-knowledge or local measurement of the accurate sound speed, an AUV is enabled to continuously locate its horizontal position based on rough ranges estimated by an iterative least square (ILS) based algorithm. For better accuracy and robustness, range deviations are compensated with a reference point of known position and outliers in the trajectory are eliminated by an implementation of the extended Kalman filter (EKF) coupled with the state-acceptance filter. The solution is evaluated in simulation experiments with environmental information measured on the spot, providing an average position error from ground truth below 10 m with a standard deviation below 5 m.

Key words: autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), underwater acoustic positioning, deep ocean, iterative least square (ILS), extended Kalman filter (EKF)

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