Observability analysis of DVL/PS aided ins for a maneuvering AUV

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Recently, ocean exploration has increased considerably through the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV). A key enabling technology is the precision of the AUV navigation capability. In this paper, we focus on understanding the limitation of the AUV navigation system. That is, what are the observable error-states for different maneuvering types of the AUV? Since analyzing the performance of an underwater navigation system is highly complex, to answer the above question, current approaches use simulations. This, of course, limits the conclusions to the emulated type of vehicle used and to the simulation setup. For this reason, we take a different approach and analyze the system observability for different types of vehicle dynamics by finding the set of observable and unobservable states. To that end, we apply the observability Gramian approach, previously used only for terrestrial applications. We demonstrate our analysis for an underwater inertial navigation system aided by a Doppler velocity logger or by a pressure sensor. The result is a first prediction of the performance of an AUV standing, rotating at a position and turning at a constant speed. Our conclusions of the observable and unobservable navigation error states for different dynamics are supported by extensive numerical simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26818-26837
Number of pages20
Issue number10
StatePublished - 22 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • AUV maneuvering
  • AUV navigation
  • Inertial navigation systems
  • Observability Gramian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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