Automated Imaging and Mapping System for AUV

Period of Performance: 01/01/1998 - 12/31/1998


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Desert Star Systems
3261 Imjin Road
Marina, CA 93933
Principal Investigator


Precision underwater mapping is an important requirement of projects ranging from wreck surveys and environmental impact studies to mine clearing operations and marine science projects. Small Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) are capable platforms for mapping operations as they are easily deployed and can operate in hazardous environments. We propose the development of an Automated Imaging and Mapping System (AIMS) for AUV. AIMS combines digital image acquisition, precision acoustic positioning, telemetry, image transmission, and a command link in a small package. AIMS will communicate with the AUV host computer and give the vehicle the means to run precise search patterns while taking position-tagged images at regular intervals. The acoustic telemetry, command, and image link to the surface will support strategic guidance of an AUV operation by a surface operator. Post mission analysis software will retrieve the images, position tags, and associated data and construct a detailed map of the surveyed site.