Launch and recovery for ship-deployed autonomous underwater vehicles

Amir Yazdani, Karl Sammut, Oleg A. Yakimenko, Andrew Lammas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 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 efficiency and battery capacity. For most deployments, AUVs are launched and recovered from a mother ship. While the launch process is relatively straightforward and automated, the recovery process is more risky and conventionally involves man-in-the-loop intervention to ensure that the AUV can be recovered safely. The use of submerged docking stations (DS) permitting battery recharge, data transfer and vehicle recovery offer a means of enabling persistence while also reducing associated deployment/recovery costs and risks. Autonomous docking with a submerged dock towed behind a ship is however complicated by the presence of currents, propeller wash and by the tow behaviour, all of which combine to cause disturbances that create misalignments in pose between the dock and the incoming vehicle. A robust docking guidance system is identified as a core and crucial component for ensuring successful AUV docking. This paper proposes an efficient and universal docking guidance framework that can help to address the limitations of existing docking guidance solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnology and Science for the Ships of the Future
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of NAV 2018: 19th International Conference on Ship & Maritime Research
EditorsAlberto Marino, Vittorio Bucci
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-870-9, 9781614998709
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-869-3, 9781614998693
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event19th International Conference on Ship and Maritime Research, NAV 2018 - Trieste, Italy
Duration: 20 Jun 201822 Jun 2018


Conference19th International Conference on Ship and Maritime Research, NAV 2018


  • AUV
  • Docking operations
  • Robust guidance system


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