To acquire accurate ship motions at the center of gravity, a single low-cost inertial sensor is utilized and applied on board to measure ship oscillating motions. As observations, the three axes accelerations and three axes rotational rates provided by the sensor are used. The mathematical model of processing the observation data includes determination of the distance vector between the sensor and the center of gravity in x, y, and z directions. After setting up the transfer matrix from sensor’s own coordinate system to the ship’s body frame, an extended Kalman filter is applied to deal with nonlinearities between the ship motion in the body frame and the observation information in the sensor’s frame. As a side effect, the method eliminates sensor noise and other unwanted errors. Results are not only roll and pitch, but also linear motions, in particular heave and surge at the center of gravity. For testing, we resort to measurements recorded on a small vessel in a well-defined sea state. With response amplitude operators computed numerically by a commercial software (Seaway), motion characteristics are estimated. These agree well with the measurements after processing with the suggested method.
On the bridge of a ship the officers are looking for visual aids to guide navigation in order to reconcile the outside world with the position communicated by the digital navigation system. Aids to navigation include: Lighthouses, lightships, sector lights, beacons, buoys, and others. They are designed to help navigators calculate their position, establish their course or avoid dangers. In poor visibility and dense traffic areas, it can be very difficult to identify these critical aids to guide navigation. The paper presents the usage of Augmented Reality (AR) as a means to present digital information about these aids to support navigation. To date, nautical navigation related mobile AR applications have been limited to the leisure industry. If proved viable, this prototype can facilitate the creation of other similar applications that could help commercial officers with navigation. While adopting a user centered design approach, the team has developed the prototype based on insights from initial research carried on board of several ships. The prototype, built on Nexus 9 tablet and Wikitude, features a head-up display of the navigational aids (lights) in the area, presented in AR and a bird’s eye view mode presented on a simplified map. The application employs the aids to navigation data managed by Hydrographic Offices and the tablet’s sensors: GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and camera. Sea trials on board of a Navy and a commercial ship revealed the end-users’ interest in using the application and further possibility of other data to be presented in AR. The application calculates the GPS position of the ship, the bearing and distance to the navigational aids; all within a high level of accuracy. However, during testing several issues were highlighted which need to be resolved as the prototype is developed further. The prototype stretched the capabilities of Wikitude, loading over 500 objects during tests in a major port. This overloaded the display and required over 45 seconds to load the data. Therefore, extra filters for the navigational aids are being considered in order to declutter the screen. At night, the camera is not powerful enough to distinguish all the lights in the area. Also, magnetic interference with the bridge of the ship generated a continuous compass error of the AR display that varied between 5 and 12 degrees. The deviation of the compass was consistent over the whole testing durations so the team is now looking at the possibility of allowing users to manually calibrate the compass. It is expected that for the usage of AR in professional maritime contexts, further development of existing AR tools and hardware is needed. Designers will also need to implement a user-centered design approach in order to create better interfaces and display technologies for enhanced solutions to aid navigation.
A sophisticated simulator provides a cost-effective measure to carry out preliminary mission testing and diagnostic while reducing potential failures for real life at sea trials. The presented simulation framework covers three key areas: AUV modeling, sensor modeling, and environment modeling. AUV modeling mainly covers the area of AUV dynamics. Sensor modeling deals with physics and mathematical models that govern each sensor installed onto the AUV. Environment model incorporates the hydrostatic, hydrodynamics, and ocean currents that will affect the AUV in a real-time mission. Based on this designed simulation framework, custom scenarios provided by the user can be modeled and its corresponding behaviors can be observed. This paper focuses on the accuracy of the simulated data from AUV model and environmental model derived from a developed AUV test-bed which was jointly upgraded by DSTO and the University of Adelaide. The main contribution of this paper is to experimentally verify the accuracy of the proposed simulation framework.