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A Comparison of Functional Control Strategies for Underwater Vehicles: Theories, Simulations and Experiments

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Maryam HaroutunianORCiD, Dr Alan J Murphy, Professor Jeffrey Neasham, Dr Rosemary NormanORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The application of visual odometry (VO) in mobile robotics and drones has become popular recently. However in the area of underwater unmanned vehicles, the VO method is yet to be applied widely because the density of feature points and illumination conditions are uncertain in underwater environments. Meanwhile, significant electronmagnetic wave attenuation in water means that underwater navigation remains a challenging problem. In this paper, a novel Integrated Visual Odometry system with a Stereo camera (IVO-S) has been investigated. Unlike pure visual odometry, such a method fuses the information from inertial sensors and a sonar so that it is able to work well in a context-sparse environment. In practical experiments, the vehicle was operated to follow specific closed-loop shapes, and an Intel T265 Tracking Camera with V-SLAM algorithm was used to provide comparative results. The cumulative error ratio is used as the quantitative evaluation method to analyze these practical test results. It is shown that the IVO method is a highly accurate navigation method, which can work in sparse environments, whilst also being a low cost solution.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Xu Z, Haroutunian M, Murphy AJ, Neasham J, Norman R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ocean Engineering

Year: 2020

Volume: 215

Print publication date: 01/11/2020

Online publication date: 26/08/2020

Acceptance date: 19/07/2020

Date deposited: 27/07/2020

ISSN (print): 0029-8018

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5258

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2020.107822


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