Unmanned Vehicle Autonomy for Long-Duration Surveillance Missions

Hossein Rastgoftar, Jinning Jiang, Ella Atkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Long duration unmanned vehicle missions with unreliable communication require flexible onboard planning to assure controls are appropriate for an uncertain environment. While the autonomous unmanned vehicle (AUV) can command its own actions, environmental dynamics are uncontrollable and typically uncertain. This paper applies the Markov Decision Process (MDP) to an environmental sampling mission with uncertain sampling target locations. AUV movements are discretized and the reward function maximizes likelihood of collecting valuable data. By modeling environmental features as MDP state features rather than injected noise, mission planning can be robust to changes in environmental conditions. This paper efficiently integrates transitions over controllable AUV motions in the presence of uncertain, uncontrollable, spatially-varying environmental dynamics. An AUV exploration case study is investigated with MDP states including location, time, three-dimensional water current velocity, temperature, surface air pressure, and other spatially and temporally varying ocean environmental parameters generated from the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). This paper contributes a novel controllable/uncontrollable partitioning for AUV decision state and examines its use for an AUV operating in a realistic ocean environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAUV 2018 - 2018 IEEE/OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Workshop, Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728102535
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 IEEE/OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Workshop, AUV 2018 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: Nov 6 2018Nov 9 2018

Publication series

NameAUV 2018 - 2018 IEEE/OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Workshop, Proceedings


Conference2018 IEEE/OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Workshop, AUV 2018


  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
  • Long Duration Surveillance
  • Markov Decision Process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Control and Optimization


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