High-bandwidth acoustic data communication for stand-off identification by autonomous underwater vehicles
van Riet, M.W.G.
van de Sande, J.J.M.
Stand-off mine countermeasure (MCM) operations with unmanned systems frequently require user involvement for the interpretation of image data, for classification and identification, and for decision-making during mine disposal. As the transfer of image data usually requires tethering, this leads to cumbersome operating procedures. We have demonstrated a high-bandwidth and quality-of-service (QoS) enabled acoustic data link for communication of live images and meta data from untethered underwater systems to an operator. Novel is the application of QoS diversity principles to the transmission of single messages with both live MCM image data and meta data to operators using wireless acoustic communication signals. The meta data, being high-priority low-volume data such as the system’s position, course and speed, as well as object classification/ localization results, are communicated with high reliability on top of the image data that itself may allow some errors (e.g., bad pixels) to remain useful for the operator. For demonstration of the concept, we have full control over an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), its sensor processing unit and software-defined modem, where the latter includes a 21 kHz bandwidth transducer (carrier @31.5 kHz). The described capability was successfully demonstrated at the NATO REP(MUS) 2021 exercise (Portugal) using an AUV with an optical camera and a side-scan sonar.
To reference this document use:
Quality of service
Underwater acoustic communication
Stand-off mine countermeasures
OCEANS 2022, Hampton Roads, 2022, 1-10