Skip to Main Content
This paper considers the vehicle navigation problem for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) with six degrees of freedom. We approach this problem using an error state formulation of the Kalman filter. Integration of the vehicle's high-rate inertial measurement unit's (IMU's) accelerometers and gyros allow time propagation while other sensors provide measurement corrections. The low-rate aiding sensors include a Doppler velocity log (DVL), an acoustic long baseline (LBL) system that provides round-trip travel times from known locations, a pressure sensor for aiding depth, and an attitude sensor. Measurements correct the filter independently as they arrive, and as such, the filter is not dependent on the arrival of any particular measurement. We propose novel tightly coupled techniques for the incorporation of the LBL and DVL measurements. In particular, the LBL correction properly accounts for the error state throughout the measurement cycle via the state transition matrix. Alternate tightly coupled approaches ignore the error state, utilizing only the navigation state to account for the physical latencies in the measurement cycle. These approaches account for neither the uncertainty of vehicle trajectory between interrogation and reply, nor the error state at interrogation. The navigation system also estimates critical sensor calibration parameters to improve performance. The result is a robust navigation system. Simulation and experimental results are provided.