Underwater SLAM in a marina environment

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This paper describes a navigation system for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in partially structured environments, such as dams, harbors, marinas or marine platforms. A mechanical scanning imaging sonar is used to obtain information about the location of planar structures present in such environments. A modified version of the Hough transform has been developed to extract line features, together with their uncertainty, from the continuous sonar dataflow. The information obtained is incorporated into a feature-based SLAM algorithm running an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). Simultaneously, the AUV's position estimate is provided to the feature extraction algorithm to correct the distortions that the vehicle motion produces in the acoustic images. Experiments carried out in a marina located in the Costa Brava (Spain) with the Ictineu AUV show the viability of the proposed approach ​
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