This paper proposes pose detection and control algorithms in order to control the relative pose between two Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) using optical feedback. The leader UUV is configured to have a light source at its crest which acts as a guiding beacon for the follower UUV which has a detector array at its bow. Pose detection algorithms are developed based on a classifier, such as the Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM), and chosen image parameters. An archive look-up table is constructed for varying combinations of 5-degree-of-freedom (DOF) motion (i.e., translation along all three coordinate axes as well as pitch and yaw rotations). Leader and follower vehicles are simulated for a case in which the leader is directed to specific waypoints in horizontal plane and the follower is required to maintain a fixed distance from the leader UUV. Proportional-Derivative (PD) control (without loss of generality) is applied to maintain stability of the UUVs to show proof of concept. Preliminary results indicate that the follower UUV is able to maintain its fixed distance relative to the leader UUV to within a reasonable accuracy.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

IEEE Oceans

Conference Date

April 7-10, 2014

Publisher Place

Taipei, Taiwan



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding