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Proceedings Paper

Integrated DGPS/acoustic system for underwater positioning
Author(s): John W. Baker; Hubert Thomas
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Paper Abstract

Datasonics, in conjunction with the French company ACSA, has developed a precise underwater positioning system with multi-user capability. The standard involves deployment of three or four lightweight, low cost buoys, which can be either anchored or drifting, depending on water depth, environmental conditions and mission requirements. Each buoy is equipped with a GPS positioning unit, an acoustic transmitter/receiver, and a 900 MHz non-FCC licensed RF link to a support vessel. Underwater divers, AUVs, or ROVs are equipped with a programmed acoustic modem which transmits a unique coded signal. Different modes of operation are offered. In the basic mode, the position computation is done aboard a surface platform. As an alternative, an acoustic modem can be used, in cases where the underwater mobile needs precise guidance. In such cases, coordinates, heading setting or range and bearing information can be transmitted to the mobile using a downward acoustic link. In the basic mode, each buoy transmits its current GPS position, along with the range and depth of each underwater vehicle or diver, to the support vessel where each vehicle or diver position is computed and displayed. Using a standard DGPS receiver, with acoustic range computation compensated for propagation velocity variation, underwater position computation accuracy approaches that of the surface GPS position accuracy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 July 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3711, Information Systems for Navy Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions, (23 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354658
Show Author Affiliations
John W. Baker, Datasonics, Inc. (United States)
Hubert Thomas, ACSA (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3711:
Information Systems for Navy Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions
Jody L. Wood-Putnam, Editor(s)

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