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Title: Boundary tracking and source seeking of oceanic features using autonomous vehicles
Author: Mellucci, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 2135
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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The thesis concerns the study and the development of boundary tracking and source seeking approaches for autonomous vehicles, specifically for marine autonomous systems. The underlying idea is that the characterization of most environmental features can be posed from either a boundary tracking or a source seeking perspective. The suboptimal sliding mode boundary tracking approach is considered and, as a first contribution, it is extended to the study of three dimensional features. The approach is aimed at controlling the movement of an underwater glider tracking a three-dimensional underwater feature and it is validated in a simulated environment. Subsequently, a source seeking approach based on sliding mode extremum seeking ideas is proposed. This approach is developed for the application to a single surface autonomous vehicle, seeking the source of a static or dynamic two dimensional spatial field. A sufficient condition which guarantees the finite time convergence to a neighbourhood of the source is introduced. Furthermore, a probabilistic learning boundary tracking approach is proposed, aimed at exploiting the available preliminary information relating to the spatial phenomenon of interest in the control strategy. As an additional contribution, the sliding mode boundary tracking approach is experimentally validated in a set of sea-trials with the deployment of a surface autonomous vehicle. Finally, an embedded system implementing the proposed boundary tracking strategy is developed for future installation on board of the autonomous vehicle. This work demonstrates the possibility to perform boundary tracking with a fully autonomous vehicle and to operate marine autonomous systems without remote control or pre-planning. Conclusions are drawn from the results of the research presented in this thesis and directions for future work are identified.
Supervisor: Menon, P. ; Edwards, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available