Acoustic-based techniques for autonomous underwater vehicle localization

Y. Petillot, F. Maurelli, N. Valeyrie, A. Mallios, P. Ridao, J. Aulinas, J. Salvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents two acoustic-based techniques to solve the localization problem for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). After a brief description of the Bayesian filtering framework, the paper analyses two of the most common underwater scenarios. Each scenario corresponds to one of the two localization techniques. The scenarios are as follows: map-based localization, when the environment is sufficiently distinctive; transponder-based localization for navigation in large and not distinctive environments. An environment is said to be distinctive when there are possible reference points. For example, a completely flat featureless sea floor is not considered as distinctive. The proposed techniques were validated in simulation. The map-based localization technique was also validated in trials with the autonomous underwater vehicles Ictineu and Nessie IV. The trials with Ictineu took place in an abandoned marina with Ictineu travelling along a trajectory that was more than 600m long. The trials with Nessie IV took place in a rectangular pool and during an AUV competition. © Authors 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


  • acoustic-based techniques
  • autonomous underwater vehicle
  • localization problem


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