Multi-AUV control and adaptive sampling in Monterey Bay

Edward Fiorelli, Naomi Ehrich Leonard, Pradeep Bhatta, Derek A. Paley, Ralf Bachmayer, David M. Fratantoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

389 Scopus citations


Operations with multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have a variety of underwater applications. For example, a coordinated group of vehicles with environmental sensors can perform adaptive ocean sampling at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. We describe a methodology for cooperative control of multiple vehicles based on virtual bodies and artificial potentials (VBAP). This methodology allows for adaptable formation control and can be used for missions such as gradient climbing and feature tracking in an uncertain environment. We discuss our implementation on a fleet of autonomous underwater gliders and present results from sea trials in Monterey Bay in August, 2003. These at-sea demonstrations were performed as part of the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN) II project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-948
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Adaptive sampling
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)
  • Cooperative control
  • Formations
  • Gradient climbing
  • Underwater gliders


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