Distance Detection of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles by Utilizing Optical Sensor Feedback in Leader-Follower Formation


This paper proposes an optical detection system between a leader and a follower UnmannedUnderwater Vehicle, specifically Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). Cost efficient photodetectors and a single LED light source are used to develop distance detection algorithms to detect translational motion in x-and y-axis directions. Analytical simulations are performed where light is modeled as a first order Gaussian function and integrated into the nonlinear ROV dynamics. The stability of a proportional derivative (PD) controller is shown via Lyapunov stability, as in Fossen [7]. Both leader and followerROV motions are simulated and experimental results from the distance detection algorithm are shown for proof of concept. In this stage of research, all experiments are performed out of water. Initial results indicate that the proposed detection system shows promise as a precursor stage to underwater testing.

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

IEEE Oceans



Conference Date

Oct 14 - Oct 19, 2012

Publisher Place

Hampton Falls, VA



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding