Framework for Optical Communication Between Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

Firat Eren, Shachak Pe'eri, and May-Win Thein

University of New Hampshire

Friday, Apr. 5, 2013, 3:00pm
Chase 130

This study presents an optical communication design of a leader-follower formation between unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), specifically remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). As an initial step in this study, the light field produced from a light source mounted on the leader UUV was empirically characterized and modeled. Based on the light field measurements, a photo-detector array for the follower UUV was designed. Evaluation of the communication algorithms to monitor the UUV’s motion was conducted through underwater experiments in the Ocean Engineering Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. The optimal spectral range was determined based on the calculation of the diffuse attenuation coefficients by using two different light sources and a spectrometer. The range between the leader and the follower vehicles for a specific water type was determined. In addition, the array design and the communication algorithms were modified according to the results from the light field.


Firat Eren received his undergraduate degree in M.E. from the Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey and a Master’s degree in M.E. from UNH on "The Effect of Cutting Force Model Coefficient Variability in Process Planning in Milling."  Firat is currently in the second year of his Ph.D. program at the UNH Department of Mechanical Engineering.  His research is titled "Dynamic positioning between unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) utilizing optical sensory feedback."  Firat worked at Kale Altinay Robotics and Automation, Istanbul; served as an instructor for an ROV Science and Applications class at UNH, specifically for optical sensors, ROV dynamics and control, and ROV Control Project modules; and has been working as a graduate student advisor for the UNH senior ROV team for two years.  Firat is member in the OE society in IEEE and MTS.

Shachak Pe’eri received his Ph.D. degree in Geophysics from the Tel Aviv University, Israel. In 2005, he started his post-doctoral work at the Center of Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM), University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH with a Tyco post-doctoral fellowship award. He is currently working as a research assistant professor at CCOM. His research interests are in optical remote sensing in the littoral zone with a focus on experimental and theoretical studies of lidar remote sensing (airborne lidar bathymetry, topographic lidar, and terrestrial laser scanning), hyperspectral remote sensing, and sensor fusion. Shachak Pe’eri is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Ocean Engineering (OE) and Geoscience and Remote Sensing (GRS) societies of IEEE and of The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA).

May-Win Thein joined the UNH Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1999. Since then, she has served as a visiting scholar and/or lecturer at the Flight Dynamics Analysis Branch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK), the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester (Leicester, UK), and the Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain). Prof. Thein was also named a United Kingdom Royal Society Fellow for her international collaborative research in spacecraft control. She holds memberships in AIAA, ASME (DSCD), IEEE (CSS IAC, WiC, WIE), Phi Eta Sigma, Pi Tau Sigma, SAE, Sigma Xi, SWE, and Tau Beta Pi. Professor Thein's field of specialization is in the area of System Dynamics and Control. Her studies have emphasized nonlinear state estimation and control, multirate state and parameter estimation, and fault detection and isolation.