Multiple Autonomous Systems in Underwater Mine Countermeasures Mission Using Information Fusion as Navigation Aid

EšKINJA, Zdravko; NAđ, đula; DJAPIć, Vladimir
June 2013
Brodogradnja;Jun2013, Vol. 64 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Autonomous bottom mine neutralization systems have a challenging task of mine reacquisition and navigation in the demanding underwater environment. Even after mine reacquisition, the neutralization payload has to be autonomously deployed near the mine, and before any action the verification (classification) of the existence of a mine has to be determined. The mine intervention vehicle can be an expendable (self-destroyed during the mine neutralization) or a vehicle that deploys the neutralization payload and it is retrieved at the end of the mission. Currently the systems developed by the research community are capable of remotely navigating a mine intervention underwater vehicle in the vicinity of the mine by using remote sonar aided navigation from a master vehicle. However, the task of successfully navigating the vehicle that carries the neutralization payload near the bottom and around the mine remains a challenge due to sea bottom clutter and the target signature interfering with the sonar detection. We seek a solution by introducing navigation via visual processing near the mine location. Using an onboard camera, the relative distance to the mine-like object can be estimated. This will improve the overall vehicle navigation and rate of successful payload delivery close to the mine. The paper presents the current navigation system of the mine intervention underwater vehicle and the newly developed visual processing for relative position estimation.


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