Development and Testing of an Underwater Optical Imaging System to Enable Unmanned Underwater Vehicle/Submarine Rendezvous


  1. Giesbrecht, J.
  2. Watt, G.D.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN);Defence Research and Development Canada, Atlantic Research Centre, Halifax NS (CAN)
This document describes the design and test of an optical position sensing system to enable autonomous rendezvous between a submarine and an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV). The vision system uses LED lighting on the UUV and a monocular camera system to predict the UUV position and pose relative to the camera. Important aspects include the use of a variety of computer vision algorithms changed adaptively over the course of the UUV approach, as well as the use of active control of the camera exposure to enable computer vision. Tests were conducted in harbour water from a barge facility at DRDC Atlantic in Bedford Basin, Nova Scotia using a mechanical ground truth system to verify performance. The system was found to operate in real-time at ranges to at least 13 m over a wide variety of relative positions, poses, and lighting conditions. Typical accuracy was on the order of less than 3% of range, and better than 5 degrees of accuracy in determintion of UUV roll, pitch and yaw.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicle;submarine;robotic docking;computer vision
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-R155 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 Sep 2018
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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