Trajectory Optimization for Underwater Vehicles in Time-Varying Ocean Flows
Miguel Aguiar, João Borges de Sousa, João Miguel Dias, Jorge Estrela da Silva, Renato Mendes and Américo S. Ribeiro
Mission requirements for unmanned marine vehicles are becoming more challenging in part because the reliability and capabilities of these vehicles have improved significantly over the last decade. Improvements in reliability, navigation, control, and communications enable, for example, operations in areas with currents that may overcome, for limited periods, the motion capabilities of marine vehicles. We present a formulation of an optimal motion planning problem for marine vehicles in planar flows based on dynamic programming and high resolution ocean models. Numerical results simulating a real operational scenario in the Sado estuarine region show that the approach is useful for practical trajectory generation in spatially constrained areas and in the presence of strong currents.