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Path Planning Algorithm for Automated Marine Vehicles

Path Planning Algorithm for Automated Marine Vehicles

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Chris McElroy. Originally submitted for MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering at None, with lecturer Dr Wasif Naeem in the category of Engineering & Mechanical Sciences
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Chris McElroy. Originally submitted for MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering at None, with lecturer Dr Wasif Naeem in the category of Engineering & Mechanical Sciences

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 30, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
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Path Planning Algorithm forAutomated Marine Vehicles
MEng Final Year Report Electrical and Electronic Engineering
 
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1.0 Abstract 
The use of autonomy in the area of marine vehicles is becoming increasingly popular, with both themilitary and the civilian sectors employing automation in various applications, such as minesweeping and underwater construction. However, sometimes the technology can become soadvanced that the internal workings can be easily overlooked. This report focuses on the pathplanning algorithms that are an integral part in the operation of automated marine vehicles. It is thepath planning algorithms that determine a safe route for the vehicle from its start point to aspecified destination, while also avoiding any obstacles that may be in its way.Following a review of various algorithms, the A* algorithm was chosen for further development.Once the program was written, a controller was developed so that the dynamics of a ship could beintroduced into the model. Since the algorithm alone only produces an optimal route, it does notconsider the constraints on a marine vehicle, such as the limited turning angle. By incorporating acontroller with the algorithm, a more accurate result of the actual path that the vehicle would takewas produced.The development of the controller presented a number of design issues. Firstly, as the velocity wasincreased the controller error also increased, which led to instability in the system. This wascounteracted by keeping the velocity below 0.2m/s, which for simulation purposes was sufficient.Secondly, as the grid size was increased to simulate large map areas, the obstacles within the mapremained their original size. This resulted in the path planner coming too close to the obstacle,consequently increasing the risk of collision.Finally, with the algorithm and the controller designs both completed, the program was thenmodified to incorporate the collision regulations (COLREGs), which consist of a number of rules thatapply to marine vehicles. These modifications alter the code to comply with the regulations whenrequired, at the expense of producing a less optimal path to the destination. Currently, one rule hasbeen incorporated into the code, and that is the starboard manoeuvre. This rule forces the vehicle totake a path around the starboard side of an oncoming vessel if it is in its path, as opposed to passingit on the port side (see Section 3.5).The proposed future work on the project will consist of incorporating the remaining COLREGs intothe current system, while also addressing the various minor issues that exist, such as the grid sizeand velocity issues. Other areas for future work also include introducing dynamic obstacles into thepath planning procedure, to model moving vessels, which will prove essential if the controller is toever be used in a real world application.
 
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Contents
..................................................................................................................... 124.2 Best-First Algorithm .................................................................................................................... 124.3 A* Algorithm ............................................................................................................................... 134.4 Genetic Algorithm ....................................................................................................................... 134.5 Potential Field Algorithms ........................................................................................................... 134.6 Bug algorithms ............................................................................................................................ 144.7 Cell Decomposition Algorithms ................................................................................................... 145.0 Selection of Algorithm .................................................................................................................... 155.1 Development of A* ..................................................................................................................... 155.2 Map Initialisation ........................................................................................................................ 155.3 Populating the Open and Closed Lists ........................................................................................ 185.4 Generation of a Successor List .................................................................................................... 205.5 Calculating Minimum Cost Value ................................................................................................ 205.6 Generating the Optimal Path ...................................................................................................... 216.0 Vehicle Dynamics ............................................................................................................................ 246.1 First-Order Nomoto Model ......................................................................................................... 246.2 Controller Design ........................................................................................................................ 256.3 Reference Heading Angle ............................................................................................................ 256.4 Stopping the Simulation .............................................................................................................. 276.5 Testing of Controller ................................................................................................................... 297.0 COLREGs .......................................................................................................................................... 317.1 Starboard Manoeuvre Implementation ...................................................................................... 327.2 COLREGs Testing ......................................................................................................................... 33

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