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Open Access Full-scale manoeuvring trials for the Wayamba unmanned underwater vehicle

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The present paper outlines a new method to acquire experimental data for validating simulation models of highly manoeuvrable unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). Full-scale manoeuvring trials have been performed with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation's (DSTO) Wayamba UUV at Corio Quay, Geelong. These manoeuvres are based on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards for ship manoeuvring, but have been adapted for application in a wide range of UUVs, including novel flatfish designs. The manoeuvring trials undertaken included straight-line speed tests, acceleration/deceleration tests, static turn tests and a variety of directional zigzag tests. In addition to representing a baseline dataset for investigating how design or configuration changes impact vehicle manoeuvrability, the data collected from the full-scale manoeuvring trials also showed them to be well suited to simulation model validation. Details of a DSTO-developed, MATLAB®-based model of the vehicle used for investigating low-level vehicle dynamics and performance are also provided. The representativeness of this model was demonstrated by comparing the model to a subset of the manoeuvring trial data. The manoeuvring trial results also provided some interesting insights relating to Wayamba's manoeuvring performance, such as the vehicle's initial turn bias and the efficiency differential between its main thrusters.

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Keywords: AUTONOMY; MANOEUVRING TRIALS; MARINE ROBOTICS; UNMANNED UNDERWATER VEHICLES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2014

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