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Journal Articles Ocean Engineering Year : 2009

Increasing underwater vehicle autonomy by reducing energy consumption


Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are found to be essential to many underwater missions. Clearly, the onboard energy system is the key to their ability to perform a prescribed mission. For a long duration mission, during which the AUV does not have the possibility to recharge, it is absolutely critical to take the energy demands of the vehicle into consideration. In this paper, we address this question from a trajectory design point of view. Our goal is to design a control strategy that minimizes the energy consumption of the vehicle along the path. The major difficulty is to produce control strategies that can be implemented onto a real vehicle. To this end, we develop an algorithm that takes thruster limitations into account. Interestingly, due to the physical features of the test-bed vehicle used for our experiments, and given a set of initial and final configurations, there exists a final time for which we realize the minimal consumption. For the set of configurations tested in this paper, this time is slightly more than 2.5 times the minimal duration of the trajectory. These trajectories can be theoretically computed, unfortunately they are not implementable onto a real vehicle due to multiple and rapid switching required by the thrusters. Our algorithm produces trajectories with a small number of actuator changes while still keeping energy consumption near optimal levels. These control strategies are implemented extremely successfully onto our test-bed vehicle. In this paper, we describe our experimental setting and results in detail.

Dates and versions

hal-00367478 , version 1 (11-03-2009)



Thomas Haberkorn, Monique Chyba, Ryan N. Smith, S. B. Singh, S. K. Choi. Increasing underwater vehicle autonomy by reducing energy consumption. Ocean Engineering, 2009, 36 (1), pp.62-73. ⟨10.1016/j.oceaneng.2008.07.012⟩. ⟨hal-00367478⟩
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