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Open AccessArticle

Acoustic Search and Detection of Oil Plumes Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

1
Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia
2
Department of Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL A1C 5S7, Canada
3
Autonomous Maritime Systems Laboratory, University of Tasmania, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(8), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080618
Received: 28 July 2020 / Revised: 14 August 2020 / Accepted: 15 August 2020 / Published: 17 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in Extreme Environment)
We introduce an adaptive sampling method that has been developed to support the Backseat Driver control architecture of the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) Explorer autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The design is based on an acoustic detection and in-situ analysis program that allows an AUV to perform automatic detection and autonomous tracking of an oil plume. The method contains acoustic image acquisition, autonomous triggering, and thresholding in the search stage. A new biomimetic search pattern, the bumblebee flight path, was designed to maximize the spatial coverage in the oil plume detection phase. The effectiveness of the developed algorithm was validated through simulations using a two-dimensional planar plume model and a 90-degree scanning sensor model. The results demonstrate that the bumblebee search design combined with a genetic solution for the Traveling Salesperson Problem outperformed a conventional lawnmower survey, reducing the AUV travel distance by up to 75.3%. Our plume detection strategy, using acoustic sensing, provided data of plume location, distribution, and density, over a sector in contrast with traditional chemical oil sensors that only provide readings at a point. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs); oil detection; plume recognition; acoustic sensing; scanning sonar; traveling salesperson problem; biomimetic method autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs); oil detection; plume recognition; acoustic sensing; scanning sonar; traveling salesperson problem; biomimetic method
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hwang, J.; Bose, N.; Nguyen, H.D.; Williams, G. Acoustic Search and Detection of Oil Plumes Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 618. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080618

AMA Style

Hwang J, Bose N, Nguyen HD, Williams G. Acoustic Search and Detection of Oil Plumes Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2020; 8(8):618. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080618

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hwang, Jimin; Bose, Neil; Nguyen, Hung D.; Williams, Guy. 2020. "Acoustic Search and Detection of Oil Plumes Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle" J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 8, no. 8: 618. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080618

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