System evaluation and testing of unmanned underwater vehicles in their destined environment can be tedious, error prone, time consuming, and consequently expensive. However, pre-real-world testing facilities, such as hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing, are not always available. This is due to the time and expense required to create a specific test environment for the vehicle. Thus the system is not as fault tolerant as it could be since problems can remain undetected until the real-world testing phase. Debugging and fixing errors in the real-world testing phase are much more time consuming and expensive owing to the nature of the harsh underwater environment. This paper introduces a novel framework, the augmented-reality framework (ARF), for the rapid construction of virtual-environment testing scenarios for testing remote platforms with embedded systems such as autonomous underwater vehicles. The ARF provides testing facilities across all stages of the reality continuum, providing capabilities for pure simulation, HIL, hybrid simulation, and real-world testing. The framework architecture is both very generic and flexible and allows mixing of real and simulated components. The ARF is supported by a distributed communications protocol which provides location transparency of systems since this is key to providing mixed-reality testing facilities.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2010|
- augmented reality
- autonomous underwater vehicle
- hybrid simulation
- unmanned underwater vehicle