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Sensors 2016, 16(4), 429;

Close-Range Tracking of Underwater Vehicles Using Light Beacons

Computer Vision and Robotics Group, Centre d’Investigació en Robòtica Submarina, Parc Científic i Tecnològic, Universitat de Girona, 17003 Girona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jaime Lloret Mauri
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 5 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensor Nodes and Underwater Sensor Networks 2016)
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This paper presents a new tracking system for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) navigating in a close formation, based on computer vision and the use of active light markers. While acoustic localization can be very effective from medium to long distances, it is not so advantageous in short distances when the safety of the vehicles requires higher accuracy and update rates. The proposed system allows the estimation of the pose of a target vehicle at short ranges, with high accuracy and execution speed. To extend the field of view, an omnidirectional camera is used. This camera provides a full coverage of the lower hemisphere and enables the concurrent tracking of multiple vehicles in different positions. The system was evaluated in real sea conditions by tracking vehicles in mapping missions, where it demonstrated robust operation during extended periods of time. View Full-Text
Keywords: tracking system; AUV; relative navigation; pose estimation; light beacons; active markers tracking system; AUV; relative navigation; pose estimation; light beacons; active markers

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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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Bosch, J.; Gracias, N.; Ridao, P.; Istenič, K.; Ribas, D. Close-Range Tracking of Underwater Vehicles Using Light Beacons. Sensors 2016, 16, 429.

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