Development of Testbed AUV for Formation Control and its Fundamental Experiment in Actual Sea Model Basin
Akihiro Okamoto, Motonobu Imasato, Shunka C. Hirao, Hidenori Sekiguchi, Takahiro Seta, Masahiko Sasano, and Toshifumi Fujiwara
Offshore Advanced Technology Department, National Maritime Research Institute, National Institute of Maritime, Port, and Aviation Technology
6-38-1 Shinkawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0004, Japan
The formation control of multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) is increasingly becoming a vital factor in enhancing the efficiency of ocean resources exploration. However, it is currently difficult to deploy such a package of AUVs for operation at sea because of their large size. The aim of our study is to create a demonstration system for formation control algorithms using actual hardware. To implement a prototype system, we developed a testbed AUV usable in a test basin and performed a simple formation control test in the Actual Sea Model Basin of the National Maritime Research Institute, Japan. Two AUVs, the simulated “virtual” leader and the developed “real” follower, communicate through an acoustic link and hence cruise to maintain a constant distance between them. Tests for more sophisticated formation control algorithms will be enabled using the system; consequently rapid implementation at sea will be realized.
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