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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5(3), 25; doi:10.3390/jmse5030025

Determining the Horizontal and Vertical Water Velocity Components of a Turbulent Water Column Using the Motion Response of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

1
Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California—Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
3
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Ocean Engineering)
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Abstract

This work introduces a new method to calculate the water velocity components of a turbulent water column in the x, y, and z directions using Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) motion response (referred to as the ‘WVAM method’). The water column velocities were determined by calculating the difference between the motion responses of the vehicle in calm and turbulent water environments. The velocity components obtained using the WVAM method showed good agreement with measurements from an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) mounted to the AUV. The standard deviation between the two datasets were below 0.09 m s−1 for the velocity components in the x, y, and z directions, and were within the uncertainty margin of the ADCP measurements. With the WVAM method, it is possible to estimate the velocity components within close proximity to the AUV. This region encompasses the vehicle boundary layer and the ADCP blanking distance, which is not typically resolved. Estimating vertical and horizontal velocities around the boundary layer of the AUV is important for vehicle navigation and control system optimization, and to fill the blanking distance gap within a water column velocity profile, which is important for flow field characterization. The results show that it is possible to estimate the flow field in the vicinity of AUVs and other self-propelled vehicles. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomous underwater vehicles; acoustic Doppler current profilers; water column velocities; hydrodynamic coefficients; system identification autonomous underwater vehicles; acoustic Doppler current profilers; water column velocities; hydrodynamic coefficients; system identification
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Randeni P., S.A.T.; Forrest, A.L.; Cossu, R.; Leong, Z.Q.; Ranmuthugala, D. Determining the Horizontal and Vertical Water Velocity Components of a Turbulent Water Column Using the Motion Response of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5, 25.

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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. EISSN 2077-1312 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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