Autonomous Underwater Vehicle-assisted surveying of drowned reefs on the shelf edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
August 17, 2010

Authors: Williams, S.B., Pizarro, O., Webster, J.M., Beaman, R.J., Mahon, I., Johnson-Roberson, M.,Bridge, T.

Year: 2010

Publication: Journal of Field Robotics 27(5), 675-697. doi:10.1002/rob.20356


This paper describes the role of the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sirius on a research cruise to survey drowned reefs along the shelf edge of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. The primary function of the AUV was to provide georeferenced, high-resolution optical validation of seabed interpretations based on acoustic data.

We describe the AUV capabilities and its operation in the context of the multiple systems used in the cruise. The data processing pipeline involved in generating simultaneous localization and mapping–based navigation, large-scale, three-dimensional visualizations, and automated classification of survey data is briefly described.

We also present preliminary results illustrating the type of data products possible with our system and how they can inform the science driving the cruise.

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