Research Projects for 2009
Greater Autonomy for USVs
in Riverine Environments
The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) has teamed with Virginia Tech (VT) on a joint research program to develop techniques for enabling robust, fast, autonomous operations with unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) in the challenging riverine environment. Key components of this effort include obstacle detection and avoidance both above and below the water surface, non-linear path generation and adaptive control in the presence of large river currents. For this program NPS is focused on below-water obstacle detection with forward-looking sonar for localized, reactive avoidance of unseen navigational hazards and non-linear vehicle control. The goal of this program is to provide greater autonomy for USVs operating with naval riverine forces to improve vehicle survivability and enable night operations.
High Bandwidth Communications using UAVs
This project has been funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with an objective of building robust wireless sensor networks between heterogeneous unmanned robots such as autonomous underwater vehicles and unmanned ground robots using unmanned aerial vehicles as aerial communication sensor nodes.
MARTI - Information Management in Support of Tactical Operations
Project Marti is exploring the use of a combination of UAS assets to provide ubiquitous information access in support of tactical operations. Marti demonstrates the use of UAS vehicles in a hierarchical tactical information management construct. Marti considers a battle space characterized by the presence of an increasing number of information collection assets (e.g., imaging and other sensors), such as unattended ground systems, UAS, and manned platforms.
This effort addresses some of the hard technical problems bringing the Global Information Grid (GIG) and Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) to tactical users: first by creating a TCP/IP network coverage and second by producing, consuming, and managing information created within that tactical community.
Multidimensional obstacle avoidance for AUV's
This research consists of two parts. First is to use BlueView Forward Looking Sonar to detect and describe obstacles ahead of the REMUS AUV. Then plan and follow near optimal path around obstacles. Last CAVR scornfully demonstrated obstacle detection and avoidance separately in the horizontal and vertical planes. This year work is being done on how to best merge the information into a 3D map and plan a trajectory in that space.