Stochastic Motion Planning for Applications in Subsea Survey and Area Protection

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation addresses high-level path planning and cooperative control for autonomous vehicles. The objective of our work is to closely and rigorously incorporate classication and detection performance into path planning algorithms, which is not addressed with typical approaches found in literature. We present novel path planning algorithms for two different applications in which autonomous vehicles are tasked with engaging targets within a stochastic environment. In the first application an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) must reacquire and identify clusters of discrete underwater objects. Our planning algorithm ensures that mission objectives are met with a desired probability of success. The utility of our approach is verified through field trials. In the second application, a team of vehicles must intercept mobile targets before the targets enter a specified area. We provide a formal framework for solving the second problem by jointly minimizing a cost function utilizing Bayes risk.

Classification, Bayes Risk, Detection, Robotics, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Decision Theory, Path Planning