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Talk-08: MOOS-IvP Helm Based Simulations of Collision Avoidance by an Autonomous Surface Craft Performing Repeat-Transect Oceanographic Surveys

Michael A. Filimon and Daniel L. Codiga, Graduate School of Oceanography University of Rhode Island

Repeat-transect surveys of an autonomous surface craft (ASC), acting as a “moving buoy” along a line designated by the Coast Guard, are means by which to help optimally achieve oceanographic sampling needs while achieving regulatory compliance and minimizing collision risk. A central component of such an approach is on-board autonomy software with a collision avoidance (CA) component based on real-time sensor input (for example, Automatic Identification System and/or radar). With this motivation, results from simulations designed to understand and assess the performance of CA algorithms in MOOS-IvP Helm will be presented. The ASC moves back and forth along a ~5-km transect at 5 knots, station-keeping at 8 stations for 10 minutes each to simulate oceanographic data collection, in the presence of numerous traffic vessels frequently crossing its path at various speeds. With a CA behavior that makes no attempt for compliance with the 1972 COLREGS (Collision Avoidance Regulations), the CA maneuvers by the ASC fall in three main categories: large deflection, course-reversal, and leave/return to station-keeping. ASC path disruptions are substantially reduced when traffic vessels perform CA in addition to the ASC; sensitivity of encounter statistics to other ASC and traffic vessel path configurations, and CA algorithm parameters, is modest. CA performance was generally reliable, resolving at least 97% of encounters in 10s of seconds, including interactions with multiple traffic vehicles simultaneously. Finally, comparisons to initial results for identically configured simulations that instead incorporate a new COLREGS-based CA behavior will be reviewed.



  • Unmanned Surface Vehicles
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Collision Avoidance
  • MOOS-IvP
  • Oceanographic Sampling