Navigation autonomy

Precise navigation remains a substantial challenge to all underwater platforms, including AUVs. Over the last two decades, global navigation satellite systems such as GPS (Global Positioning System) have solved this issue for most surface, land and air based applications. With local or wide area augmentation systems, sub-meter positioning accuracy is available anywhere, anytime. No similar system exists for positioning below the sea surface. Autonomous operation in deep water or covert military operations requires the AUV to handle submerged operation for long periods of time.

One philosophy is to employ the best possible inertial navigation system (INS) together with a large toolbox of aiding sensors and techniques, as done by the HUGIN navigation system (Jalving et. al., 2003).

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