Analysis and Evaluation of the Positioning of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Using Acoustic Signals

  • Enrique V. CarreraEmail author
  • Manolo Paredes
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 152)


Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) present as much potential as unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for being used in military missions. Major defense-oriented applications of AUVs will be intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks, besides payload delivery and communication support. Nevertheless, AUVs have several constraints that make it difficult to rely completely on their autonomous functions. Particularly, AUVs do not have access to accurate positioning mechanisms like GPS. Thus, expensive inertial navigation techniques have been developed for these vehicles in the last decades. However, small and low-cost AUVs require newer and simpler positioning techniques that can be adapted to specific military missions. Based on that, this work analyzes and evaluates common trilateration techniques based on the propagation of acoustic signals in the water for a precise underwater positioning. Although the results show that the method known as time difference of arrival (TDoA) presents good accuracy, its application in military missions is still limited due to the large number of noise sources required; therefore, several future works in this direction are additionally proposed.


Autonomous underwater vehicles Underwater positioning Trilateration techniques Underwater sound propagation 



This work was partially supported by the Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE under Research Grant PREDU-2016-005.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de EléctricaElectrónica y Telecomunicaciones, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPESangolquíEcuador
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación de Aplicaciones Militares CICTE, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPESangolquíEcuador

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