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DVLNAV is an interactive program for precision 3-D navigation of underwater vehicles, developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. DVLNav employs a bottom-lock Doppler sonar and a North-seeking gyro to compute accurate vehicle XYZ displacements in a true—North coordinate grid, and is equipped to initialize the bottom track wither from a Long-Baseline acoustic navigation system or from manual input. The navigation software, supported under Windows, provides an interactive user-interface providing real-time displays of all sensor information, sensor status indicators, and a moving map-display with real-time vehicle outline, shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: DVLNAV Screen shot showing actual closed-loop tracking performance of Jason II during July 2002 field trials at 1650m depth on the Juan de Fuca Ridge.

DVLNav displays vehicle positions in XY, Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), or Latitude/longitude coordinates. Sensor status screens provide detailed status of each serial sensor device. All sensor data and vehicle navigation data is automatically time-stamped and logged to ascii-readable data files. DVLNAV was first deployed on the 6000m remotely operated vehicle DSL120A, the 6500m remotely operated vehicle JASON II and on the 4500m inhabited submersible DSV Alvin, both developed and operated for the U.S. oceanographic research community by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. DVLNAV is also deployed on the JHU ROV developed at JHU's Dynamical Systems and Control Laboratory.


The system presently supports a variety of navigation sensors including:

  1. RDInstruments Workhorse Navigator Doppler.
  2. IXSEA OCTANS North-seeking fiber-optic gyro.
  3. Paroscientific pressure depth sensor.
  4. Long-baseline acoustic navigation.
  5. Crossbow AHRS Attitude and Heading Reference Systems.
  6. Various additional NMEA navigation and oceanographic sensors such as altimeters, CTD, etc.

DVLNAV Data Log Files

DVLNAV produces FOUR types data files:

  • Simple comma-delimited 1-second data file: .CSV suffix, logs time-stamped navigation and sensor data at 1 second intervals. One file per day. 1 MB/hour. Compresses 5:1. Loads directly into spreadsheets (Excel, Quattro Pro, etc.) (Example file)
  • Comprehensive DSL Format Data file: .DAT suffix, logs ALL sensor and processed data, timestamped to 0.001 second. One file per hour, 60 MB/Hour. Compresses 10:1. Requires AWK/GREP and MATLAB to process. Supports planned renavigation capability. (Example file)
  • Screen Shot JPEG File: .JPEG suffix. Timestamped (to the second) screen shot image of the DVLNAV screen. 500 KB/Image. Created when you press the “screenshot” button. Press the button, Max! (Example File)
  • Hourly system configuration (INI file): Logs DVLNAV internal configuration once an hour. 6 KB. (Example file)

The file format specifications are available here, see below.

Download the DVLNAV Program and Related Documents

DVLNAV is free to the UNOLS oceanographic research community and use in non-commercial academic research projects. We like to keep track of who is using DVLNAV, so if you download DVLNAV as a courtesy we request that you let us know who you are and how you will be using DVLNAV. An email to Louis Whitcomb, "llw@jhu.edu", will do.

You can install DLVNAV on your PC and run it in simulation mode to get a sense of what the program looks like when you are actually at Sea with an ROV or Alvin. In an upcoming release, you will be able to play-back and re-navigate logged dive data.

Current Version

V193

(October 19, 2005) DVLNAV Version 193: Program installation files (3MB) only as a self-extracting compressed executable containing a windows setup.exe to automatically install dvlnav on your computer. We recommend doing the automatic windows installation (above) but if you want to do a manual installation instead of the manual installation (you must know how to manually register OCX files to do this successfully), then download the zipped manual installation files.

Previous Versions

V176

(September 30, 2003) DVLNAV Version 176: Program installation files (3MB) only as a self-extracting compressed executable containing a windows setup.exe to automatically install dvlnav on your computer. We recommend doing the automatic windows installation (above) but if you want to do a manual installation instead of the manual installation (you must know how to manually register OCX files to do this successfully), then download the zipped manual installation files.

V171

(April 12, 2003) DVLNAV Version 171: Program installation files (3MB) only as a self-extracting compressed executable containing a windows setup.exe to automatically install dvlnav on your computer. We recommend doing the automatic windows installation (above) but if you want to do a manual installation instead of the manual installation (you must know how to manually register OCX files to do this successfully), then download the zipped manual installation files.

V167

(Sept. 24, 2002) DVLNAV Version 167: Program installation files (3MB) only as a self-extracting compressed executable containing a windows setup.exe to automatically install dvlnav on your computer. We recommend doing the automatic windows installation (above) but if you want to do a manual installation instead of the manual installation (you must know how to manually register OCX files to do this successfully), then download the zipped manual installation files here.

V166

(August 6, 2002) DVLNAV Version 166 Full Release (57MB) Full installation for Windows 2000. Zip archive including the dvlnav program, data format document, installation document, and Doppler configuration files, and full documents for RDI Dopplers, Octans Gyros, Paroscientific Pressure sensors, crossbow gyros, and Adobe acrobat.

V159

(May 1, 2002) DVLNAV Version 159 Alvin Release Full installation for Windows 2000. Includes data format document, installation document, and Doppler configuration files.

Planned DVLNAV Enhancements

  • User manual
  • Renavigation capability (so you can play back your dive data logs)
  • Improved LBL/Doppler navigation algorithms
  • Improved LBL capabilities

Contributors

  • Dana Yoerger Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Director of the Deep Submergence Lab, Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who got us all interested in Doppler navigation in the first place, and who graciously provided the LBL solution code that he originally developed for ABE for use in DVLNAV.
  • Current and former WHOI National Deep Submergence Facility personnel, all of the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who provided invaluable collaboration in defining the original DVLNAV functional specification, and providing continuous feedback and critical insight through many revisions of the system.
    • Alvin Group pilots, expedition leaders, and engineers including Pat Hickey, Bruce Strickrott, Blee Williams, Anthony Berry, Mark Spear, Patrick Hickey, Anthony Tarantino, Gavin Eppard, Bob Brown, and Dudley Foster
    • Jason Group pilots, expedition leaders, and engineers including Matt Heintz, Will Sellers, Chris Taylor, Dara Scott, Casey Agee, Phil Forte, Alberto Collasius Jr., Bob Waters, Will Handley, Jim Varnum, and Akel Kevis-Stirling.
  • Andy Bowen, Director of the WHOI National Deep Submergence Facility, Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, for having the faith that we could make this work on Jason and the other DSL ROVs.
  • Barrie Walden, former Director of the Alvin Group, Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, provided the leadership to make the Alvin Doppler program a reality supported by NSF.
  • Hanumant Singh Ph.D., Associate Scientist, Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution facilitated our initial collaboration with the Alvin group.
  • Dan Fornari Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, for leading the charge to obtain and deliver quantitative scientific data with deep submergence vehicles.

References

  1. James C. Kinsey* and Louis L. Whitcomb. Preliminary Field Experience with the DVLNAV Integrated Navigation System for Manned and Unmanned Submersibles. Proceedings of the 1st IFAC Workshop on Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles, GCUV '03, 9-11 April 2003, Newport, South Wales, UK. Accepted, To Appear.
  2. James C. Kinsey* and Louis L. Whitcomb. Towards In-Situ Calibration of Gyro and Doppler Navigation Sensors for Precision Underwater Vehicle Navigation. In Proceedings of the 2002 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Pages 4016-4023, Arlington, VA, May 2002.
  3. Hanumant Singh, Louis L. Whitcomb, Dana Yoergar, and Oscar Pizarro. Microbathymetric Mapping from Underwater Vehicles in the Deep Ocean. Computer Vision and Image Understanding, 79(1):143-161, July 2000.
  4. Robert D. Ballard, Lawrence E. Stager, Daniel Master, Dana Yoerger, David Mindell, Louis L. Whitcomb, Hanumant Singh, Dennis Piechota. Iron Age Shipwrecks in Deep Water off Ashkelon, Israel. American Journal of Archaeology, 106(2):151-168, March 2002.
  5. Robert D. Ballard, Anna Marguerite McCann, Dana R. Yoerger, Louis L. Whitcomb, David A. Mindell, John Oleson, Hanumant Singh, Brendan Foley, Jonathan Adams, Dennis Picheota, and Cathy Giangrande. The discovery of ancient history in the deep sea using advanced deep submergence technology. Deep Sea Research Part 1, 47(9):1591-1620, September 2000.
  6. Louis L. Whitcomb, Dana R. Yoerger, Hanumant Singh, and Jonathan Howland. Advances in underwater robot vehicles for deep ocean exploration: navigation, control, and survey operations. In Robotics Research - The Ninth International Symposium, Springer-Verlag, London, 2000, (To Appear).
  7. Louis L. Whitcomb, Underwater Robotics: Out of the research laboratory and into the field. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages 709-716, April 2000.
  8. Hanumant Singh, Oscar Pizarro, Louis L. Whitcomb, Dana Yoerger, In-situ attitude calibration for high resolution bathymetric surveys with underwater robotic vehicles. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages 1767-1774, April 2000,
  9. Louis Whitcomb, Dana R. Yoerger, and Hanumant Singh. Combined Doppler/LBL Based Navigation of Underwater Vehicles. In Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology, Durham, New Hampshire, USA, August 1999.
  10. Louis L. Whitcomb, Dana R. Yoerger, and Hanumant Singh. Advances in doppler-based navigation of underwater robotic vehicles. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, volume 1, pages 399-406, May 1999.
  11. Louis L. Whitcomb and Dana R. Yoerger. A new distributed real-time control system for the Jason underwater robot. In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Workshop on Intelligent Robots and Systems, volume 1, pages 368-374, Yokohama, Japan, July 1993. IEEE.
  12. David A. Mindell, Dana R. Yoerger, Lee E. Freitag, Louis L. Whitcomb, and Robert L. Eastwood. JasonTalk: A standard ROV vehicle control system. In Proceedings of IEEE/MTS OCEANS'93, volume 3, pages 253-258, Victoria, BC, Canada, October 1993. IEEE.

Contact Information


Professor Louis L. Whitcomb
Department of Mechanical Engineering
G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering
The Johns Hopkins University
Mail address:
123 Latrobe Hall
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland, 21218-2686
Phone: (410) 516-6724
Fax: (410) 516-7254
Email: llw@jhu.edu
WWW: http://robotics.me.jhu.edu/~llw
Dynamical Systems and Control Lab Home Page

This page was last modified on 29 June 2012, at 09:33.