Adaptive Path Planning for an Autonomous Marine Vehicle Performing Cooperative Navigation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
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Adaptive path planning of an autonomous marine vehicle (surface or subsurface) in the role of a communication and navigation aid (CNA) for multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for survey missions is studied. This path planning algorithm can be run before deployment, based on the planned paths of the survey AUVs, or underway, based on information transmitted by the survey AUVs. The planner considers the relative depth of the CNA and survey AUVs (not previously done) allowing the CNA to better aid survey AUVs that maintain a set distance over the ocean floor while surveying. Results are presented from simulations and in-water trials for both pre-deployment and underway planning modes, the latter being preferred since it can adapt to the survey AUV path during the mission. The necessity of bounding the distance between the CNA and any survey AUV in order to bound survey AUV position error is also described.