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Range-Based Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Navigation Expressed in Geodetic Coordinates
Unlike many terrestrial applications, GPS is unavailable to autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) while submerged due to the rapid attenuation of radio frequency signals in seawater. Underwater vehicles often use other navigation technologies. This thesis describes a range-based acoustic navigation system that utilizes range measurements from a single moving transponder with a known location to estimate the position of an AUV in geodetic coordinates. Additionally, the navigation system simultaneously estimates the currents acting on the AUV. Thus the navigation system can be used in locations where currents are unknown.
The main contribution of this work is the implementation of a range-based navigation system in geodetic coordinates for an AUV. This range-based navigation system is implemented in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) coordinate reference system. The navigation system is not restricted to the WGS 84 ellipsoid and can be applied to any reference ellipsoid. This thesis documents the formulation of the navigation system in geodetic coordinates. Experimental data gathered in Claytor Lake, VA, and the Chesapeake Bay is presented.