Coordinated Control of an Underwater Glider Fleet in an Adaptive Ocean Sampling Field Experiment
in Monterey Bay
Naomi E. Leonard, Derek A. Paley, Russ E. Davis, David M. Fratantoni, Francois Lekien and Fumin
Journal of Field Robotics, 27(6), p. 718-740, 2010.
A full-scale adaptive ocean sampling network was deployed throughout the month-long
2006 Adaptive Sampling and Prediction (ASAP) field experiment in Monterey Bay, California. One of
the central goals of the field experiment was to test and demonstrate newly developed techniques
for coordinated motion control of autonomous vehicles carrying environmental sensors to efficiently
sample the ocean. We describe the field results for the heterogeneous fleet of autonomous
underwater gliders that collected data continuously throughout the month-long experiment.
Six of these gliders were coordinated autonomously for twenty-four days straight using feedback
laws that scale with the number of vehicles. These feedback laws were systematically computed
using recently developed methodology to produce desired collective motion patterns, tuned to the
spatial and temporal scales in the sampled fields for the purpose of reducing statistical
uncertainty in field estimates. The implementation was designed to allow for adaptation of
coordinated sampling patterns using human-in-the-loop decision making, guided by optimization
and prediction tools. The results demonstrate an innovative tool for ocean sampling and provide
a proof-of-concept for an important field robotics endeavor that integrates coordinated motion
control with adaptive sampling.
(1.3 MB pdf)
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