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Journal Articles Frontiers in Earth Science Year : 2021

Geodetic Seafloor Positioning Using an Unmanned Surface Vehicle—Contribution of Direction-of-Arrival Observations

Abstract

Precise underwater geodetic positioning remains a challenge. Measurements combining surface positioning (GNSS) with underwater acoustic positioning are generally performed from research vessels. Here we tested an alternative approach using a small Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) with a compact GNSS/Acoustic experimental set-up, easier to deploy, and more cost-effective. The positioning system included a GNSS receiver directly mounted above an Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) module integrated with an inertial system (INS) to correct for the USV motions. Different acquisition protocols, including box-in circles around transponders and two static positions of the USV, were tested. The experiment conducted in the shallow waters (40 m) of the Bay of Brest, France, provided a data set to derive the coordinates of individual transponders from two-way-travel times, and direction of arrival (DOA) of acoustic rays from the transponders to the USV. Using a least-squares inversion, we show that DOAs improve single transponder positioning both in box-in and static acquisitions. From a series of short positioning sessions (20 min) over 2 days, we achieved a repeatability of ~5 cm in the locations of the transponders. Post-processing of the GNSS data also significantly improved the two-way-travel times residuals compared to the real-time solution.
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Dates and versions

hal-03319877 , version 1 (13-08-2021)

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Pierre Sakic, Clémence Chupin, Valérie Ballu, Thibault Coulombier, Pierre-Yves Morvan, et al.. Geodetic Seafloor Positioning Using an Unmanned Surface Vehicle—Contribution of Direction-of-Arrival Observations. Frontiers in Earth Science, 2021, 9, pp.636156. ⟨10.3389/feart.2021.636156⟩. ⟨hal-03319877⟩
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