Motion Planning and Decision Making for Underwater Vehicles Operating in Constrained Environments in the Littoral
This paper seeks to enhance the mission and motion-planning capabilities of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) operating in constrained environments in the littoral zone. The proposed approach automatically plans low-cost, collision-free, and dynamically-feasible motions that enable an AUV to carry out missions expressed as formulas in temporal logic. The key aspect of the proposed approach is its use of roadmap abstractions in configuration space to guide the expansion of a tree of feasible motions in the state space. This makes it possible to effectively deal with challenges imposed by the vehicle dynamics and the need to operate in the littoral zone, which is characterized by confined waterways, shallow water, complex ocean floor topography, varying currents, and miscellaneous obstacles. Experiments with accurate AUV models carrying out different missions show considerable improvements over related work in reducing both the running time and solution costs.
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