Antisubmarine warfare applications for autonomous underwater vehicles: the GLINT09 field trial results
Surveillance in antisubmarine warfare (ASW) has traditionally been carried out by means of submarines or frigates with towed arrays. These techniques are manpower intensive. Alternative approaches have recently been suggested concerning distributed mobile and stationary sensors, such as sonobuoys and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). To field a fully operational system, many technological hurdles need to be overcome. These include battery life, limited acoustic communications ranges, incorporating sonar signal processing on the AUV"s embedded hardware, and increasing autonomy to ensure that the system as a whole acts in a sensible and appropriate fashion. The main thrust of this paper is how the latter two issues have been addressed for a real experimental system and how the proposed solutions have been demonstrated at sea. This paper describes ongoing development at the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) to construct an autonomous distributed sensor system that uses AUVs for ASW applications. In a series of at-sea experiments, we have demonstrated real-time processing incorporating traditional ASW processing as far as tracking and adaptive autonomous behaviors, which concern AUV navigation to optimize target localization. This paper describes the hardware and software configurations that facilitated the rapid development of this system and details the recent at-sea successes that have been demonstrated with our AUV, towed arrays, and active acoustic sources. Results are given of our most recent at-sea trial, GLINT09, held in the summer of 2009, when an AUV with a towed array detected and maneuvered in response to an active source.
SourceIn: Journal of Field Robotics, Vol. 27, No. 6, pp. 890-902, 2010.
Hughes, David T.