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Advanced Perception, Navigation and Planning for Autonomous In-Water Ship Hull Inspection

Franz S. Hover, Ryan M. Eustice, Ayoung Kim, Brendan Englot, Hordur Johannsson, Michael Kaess and John J. Leonard
Journal Article, Intl. J. of Robotics Research, IJRR, Vol. 31, No. 12, pp. 1445-1464, October, 2012

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Inspection of ship hulls and marine structures using autonomous underwater vehicles has emerged as a unique and challenging application of robotics. The problem poses rich questions in physical design and operation, perception and navigation, and planning, driven by difficulties arising from the acoustic environment, poor water quality and the highly complex structures to be inspected. In this paper, we develop and apply algorithms for the central navigation and planning problems on ship hulls. These divide into two classes, suitable for the open, forward parts of a typical monohull, and for the complex areas around the shafting, propellers and rudders. On the open hull, we have integrated acoustic and visual mapping processes to achieve closed-loop control relative to features such as weld-lines and biofouling. In the complex area, we implemented new large-scale planning routines so as to achieve full imaging coverage of all the structures, at a high resolution. We demonstrate our approaches in recent operations on naval ships.

author = {Franz S. Hover and Ryan M. Eustice and Ayoung Kim and Brendan Englot and Hordur Johannsson and Michael Kaess and John J. Leonard},
title = {Advanced Perception, Navigation and Planning for Autonomous In-Water Ship Hull Inspection},
journal = {Intl. J. of Robotics Research, IJRR},
year = {2012},
month = {October},
volume = {31},
number = {12},
pages = {1445-1464},
} 2018-11-12T12:47:00-05:00