Underwater Positioning of a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) for Optimized Navigation

  • Abdelaziz Alzaabi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


As underwater vehicles are increasingly used in various fields to perform varying tasks that require accurate control, the need to develop an accurate sensor technology that can localize the vehicle is in high demand. If built at a low-cost and self-contained onboard approach, this technology can be deployed in a broad variety of applications. This research discusses currently existing technology used for localization of underwater vehicles and existing limitations. It also proposes a new technology that can be used in order to accurately determine the location of the vehicle without the use of complex and expensive current methods. This technology utilizes three carefully designed propeller-based odometers to obtain a better estimate of displacement under the water surface. Moreover, it explores the possibility of using this sensor system on already constructed ROVs. The proposed approach has been theoretically modeled and a physical sensor system is built, experimentally implemented and fitted on a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), and the results are compared against the given path that is sent to the ROV. This project mainly targets the problem of accurate odometry of a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV), with the aid of custom-designed flow sensors. It requires designing and implementation of a dedicated flow sensor system to the platform. Achieving such tasks would increase the performance of the ROV in the inspection of oil and gas platforms with high precision. Indexing Terms: Odometry, Underwater, Kinematics, Trajectory, ROV, Localization.
Date of AwardJun 2018
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorCesare Stefanini (Supervisor)


  • Odometry
  • Underwater
  • Kinematics
  • Trajectory
  • ROV
  • Localization.

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