Title

Assessing seaglider model-based position accuracy on an acoustic tracking range

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

6-1-2021

Abstract

Seagliders are buoyancy-driven autonomous underwater vehicles whose subsurface position estimates are typically derived from velocities inferred using a flight model. We present a method for computing velocities and positions during the different phases typically encountered during a dive–climb profile based on a buoyancy-driven flight model. We compare these predictions to observations gathered from a Seaglider deployment on the acoustic tracking range in Dabob Bay (200 m depth, mean vehicle speeds ~30 cm s-1), permitting us to bound the position accuracy estimates and understand sources of various errors. We improve position accuracy estimates during long vehicle accelerations by nu-merically integrating the flight model’s fundamental momentum-balance equations. Overall, based on an automated estimation of flight-model parameters, we confirm previous work that predicted vehicle velocities in the dominant dive and climb phases are accurate to <1cms-1, which bounds the accumulated position error in time. However, in this energetic tidal basin, position error also accumulates due to unresolved depth-dependent flow superimposed upon an inferred depth-averaged current.

Publication Title

Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology

Volume

38

Issue

6

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