Underwater pipeline inspection is an important topic in off-shore subsea operations. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) can play an important role in multiple application areas including military, ocean science, aquaculture, shipping, and energy. However, using ROVs for inspection is not cost-effective, and the fixed leak detection sensors mounted along the pipeline have limited precision. Although the cost can be significantly reduced by applying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), the unstable current, low visibility, and loss of GPS signal make the navigation of AUVs underwater very challenging. Previous studies have been conducted on coordinate-based, vision-based, and fusion-based navigation algorithms. However, the coordinate-based algorithms suffered from the denial of GPS signals while the vision-based methods typically relied on terrain and landscape knowledge that required collection prior to the mission. As a result of these issues, a navigation system for an AUV that incorporates vision and sonar sensors is presented in this article. In a robot operating system (ROS)/Gazebo-based simulation environment, the AUV had the ability to find and navigate toward the pipeline and continuously traverse along its length. Additionally, with a chemical concentration sensor mounted on the AUV, the system demonstrated the capability of inspecting the pipeline and reporting the leak point with a resolution of 3 m along the pipeline.
- Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)
- fuzzy controller
- pipeline inspection
- robot operating system (ROS)
- sensor fusion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering