A survey of underwater docking guidance systems

A. M. Yazdani, K. Sammut, O. Yakimenko, A. Lammas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are increasingly being used for underwater survey and exploration missions. The expanding mission scope for AUVs highlights the need for a long-endurance operational capability, which mainly depends on propulsion system efficiency and battery capacity. The use of submerged docking stations permitting battery recharge and data download/upload offers a means of enabling persistence without compromising propulsion and payload power budgets, while also reducing associated deployment/recovery costs and risks. Autonomous docking with an underwater station is, however, complicated by the presence of currents and obstacles in the water, and by the relative dynamic differences in pose between the dock and the vehicle. A robust docking guidance system is identified as a core and crucial component for ensuring successful AUV docking. This paper presents a detailed literature review summarizing the current state-of-the-art in AUV docking guidance methodologies, identifying their relative merits and shortcomings, and revealing the docking guidance methodologies that seems to be the most prominent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103382
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Autonomous docking
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles
  • Universal docking guidance framework


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