Relaxing the planar assumption: 3D state estimation for an autonomous surface vessel

Abstract : Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASVs) are increasingly proposed as tools to automatize environmental data collection, bathymetric mapping and shoreline monitoring. For many applications it can be assumed that the boat operates on a 2D plane. However, with the involvement of exteroceptive sensors like cameras or laser rangefinders, knowing the 3D pose of the boat becomes critical. In this paper, we formulate three different algorithms based on 3D extended Kalman filter (EKF) state estimation for ASVs localiza-tion. We compare them using field testing results with ground truth measurements, and demonstrate that the best performance is achieved with a model-based solution in combination with a complementary filter for attitude estimation. Furthermore, we present a parameter identification methodology and show that it also yields accurate results when used with inexpensive sensors. Finally, we present a long-term series (i.e., over a full year) of shoreline monitoring data sets and discuss the need for map maintenance routines based on a variant of the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm.
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Gregory Hitz, François Pomerleau, Francis Colas, Roland Siegwart. Relaxing the planar assumption: 3D state estimation for an autonomous surface vessel. The International Journal of Robotics Research, SAGE Publications, 2015, 34 (13), pp.1604-1621. ⟨10.1177/0278364915583680⟩. ⟨hal-01174626⟩

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