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Decision Making on AUVs for adaptive minehunting surveys

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Author: Giodini, S. · Hunter, A.J. · Naus, H.W.L. · Bakker, B. · Bekers, D.J. · Ditzel, M. · Vossen, R. van · Dugelay, S. · Baralli, F. · Beckers, A.L.D.
Type:article
Date:2014
Publisher: Nexus Media, Ltd
Place: Swanley, Kent
Source:Proceedings of the European Conference on Undersea Defence Technology, UDT Europe 2014, 10 - 12 June, 2014, Liverpool, UK
Identifier: 504518
Keywords: Warfare · Mine hunting · Sea mines · Autonomous underwater vehicles · Autonomous mine hunting · Decision making · Defence Research · Defence, Safety and Security · Physics & Electronics · AS - Acoustics & Sonar ; ED - Electronic Defence ; DSS - Distributed Sensor Systems ; RT - Radar Technology · TS - Technical Sciences

Abstract

Minehunting operations can benefit from the use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) because these vehicles are able to acquire high-resolution images of the seabed leaving the man out of the minefield. However, because there are severe communication constraints between the AUV and the control platform, the AUV needs to be capable of changing its behaviour when situations are encountered that differ from those assumed in the mission planning. Therefore, the AUV should have a capability to autonomously adapt to changing circumstances. This capability is important at different time scales during a mission, ranging from quick reactive responses to avoid objects to deliberative responses relating to the mission. In this paper, the focus is on the deliberative response at mission level. The specific case evaluates whether sufficient information is collected in the search-classify-map (SCM) phase to fulfil the mission requirements on effectiveness and efficiency. Based on this evaluation, decisions are made to extend the SCM-phase, to start the reacquisition and identification, or to abort the mission when the area is considered to be too complex for autonomous minehunting. The challenge is to enable the system to reason about measures of effectiveness such as the achieved detection performance in the mission. To enable this, the system has to be able to compute the value of the collected information using in-situ observations. Subsequently, it needs to choose the best future course of action taking into account the available resources. The evaluation of measures of performance and effectiveness in-mission and the subsequent decision-making has been demonstrated on the MUSCLE AUV during the MANEX’13 trial organised by the Centre of Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE).