A measurement distribution framework for cooperative navigation using multiple AUVs

M.F. Fallon, G. Papadopoulos, J.J. Leonard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In recent years underwater survey and surveillance missions with more than a single Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) have become more common thanks to more reliable and cheaper platforms, as well as the addition of remote command and control communications using, for example, the WHOI acoustic modem. However cooperative navigation of AUVs has thus far been limited to a single AUV supported by a dedicated surface vehicle with access to GPS. In this paper a scalable and modular framework is presented in which any number of vehicles can broadcast, forward and acknowledge range, dead-reckoning, feature and GPS measurements so that the full fleet of AUVs can navigate and cooperate in a consistent and accurate manner. The approach is independent of the resultant application-such as recursive state estimation or full pose optimization. Trade-offs between the number of vehicles, the condition of the communication channel and rate at which updates are available are also discussed. Finally performance is illustrated in a realistic experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRobotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4244-5040-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-5038-1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


  • distributed control
  • mobile robots
  • navigation
  • optimisation
  • pose estimation
  • remotely operated vehicles
  • underwater vehicles
  • GPS measurements
  • WHOI acoustic modem
  • autonomous underwater vehicle
  • cooperative navigation
  • full pose optimization
  • measurement distribution framework
  • multiple AUV
  • surveillance missions
  • underwater survey
  • Broadcasting
  • Command and control systems
  • Global Positioning System
  • Modems
  • Navigation
  • State estimation
  • Surveillance
  • Underwater acoustics
  • Underwater communication
  • Underwater vehicles


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