AUV SLAM and experiments using a mechanical scanning forward-looking sonar

Bo He, Yan Liang, Xiao Feng, Rui Nian, Tianhong Yan, Minghui Li, Shujing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Navigation technology is one of the most important challenges in the applications of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) which navigate in the complex undersea environment. The ability of localizing a robot and accurately mapping its surroundings simultaneously, namely the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem, is a key prerequisite of truly autonomous robots. In this paper, a modified-FastSLAM algorithm is proposed and used in the navigation for our C-Ranger research platform, an open-frame AUV. A mechanical scanning imaging sonar is chosen as the active sensor for the AUV. The modified-FastSLAM implements the update relying on the on-board sensors of C-Ranger. On the other hand, the algorithm employs the data association which combines the single particle maximum likelihood method with modified negative evidence method, and uses the rank-based resampling to overcome the particle depletion problem. In order to verify the feasibility of the proposed methods, both simulation experiments and sea trials for C-Ranger are conducted. The experimental results show the modified-FastSLAM employed for the navigation of the C-Ranger AUV is much more effective and accurate compared with the traditional methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9386-9410
Number of pages25
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2012


  • autonomous underwater vehicles
  • navigation technology
  • sonar
  • robots
  • simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem


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