default Planning and evaluation of MCM missions using AUVs: mixing real and simulated data

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Planning and evaluation of MCM missions using AUVs: mixing real and simulated data. NURC-FR-2006-017. September 2006.

This study was initiated by the NATO Undersea Research Centre in collaboration with SeeByte Ltd and Heriot-Watt University located in Edinburgh, Scotland. As AUVs equipped with sidescan sonars become more mature as an operational MCM tool, the ability to evaluate their capabilities and predict their performance becomes increasingly important. To date, tools developed for MCM assets have not successfully transposed to AUVs. There is therefore a gap between the predicted and observed operational performance of minehunting AUVs. This will become a critical issue as AUVs continue to be adopted as operational tools deployed by NATO nations. A 'system' based evaluation methodology has been proposed where a full system (vehicle + sonar + Automatic Target Recognition (ATR))is evaluated in various environments using real data. Existing AUV mounted sidescan sonars have very specific characteristics which are highly dependent on the environment, especially in shallow waters, and are therefore difficult to model. Initial results obtained on various REMUS missions have demonstrated the potential of the tool to assess AUV missions.