Date of Award

6-2018

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Lynne Slivovsky

Abstract

Autonomous vehicle navigation is a complex and challenging task. Land and aerial vehicles often use highly accurate GPS sensors to localize themselves in their environments. These sensors are ineffective in underwater environments due to signal attenuation. Autonomous underwater vehicles utilize one or more of the following approaches for successful localization and navigation: inertial/dead-reckoning, acoustic signals, and geophysical data. This thesis examines autonomous localization in a simulated environment for an OpenROV Underwater Drone using a Kalman Filter. This filter performs state estimation for a dead reckoning system exhibiting an additive error in location measurements. We evaluate the accuracy of this Kalman Filter by analyzing the effect each parameter has on accuracy, then choosing the best combination of parameter values to assess the overall accuracy of the Kalman Filter. We find that the two parameters with the greatest effects on the system are the constant acceleration and the measurement uncertainty of the system. We find the filter employing the best combination of parameters can greatly reduce measurement error and improve accuracy under typical operating conditions.

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