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Formation optimization tool for AUV-based seismic surveys

Int. Conf. on Sonar Systems & Sensors ICONS'18, Kochin (India)

S.M. Jesus sjesus(at)ualg.pt,
LarSys, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro (Portugal).

Comments: download pdf.
Ref.: in Int. Conf. on Sonar Systems & Sensors ICONS'18, Kochin (India), 22-24 February 2018 (invited).

This paper presents a tool for determining the optimal formation of a swarm of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) for seismic surveying. Each AUV carries an acoustic streamer so, the AUV formation implies a space distributed sensor array for bottom imaging. This tool is based on a sparse formulation of bottom layer reflection resulting on a structured design matrix with the bottom return field. Since the design matrix structure depends also on the receiving system characteristics, field coherence is used as optimization criteria for determining sensor array position and thus the vehicle formation. The receiver positions are constrained by actual array characteristics and AUV relative position physical constraints. Simulated results based on actual physical propagation model data are provided for a two sparker source and four AUV 2D geometry case in the scenario of the port of Sines (Portugal). The results show that a clear improvement can be reached regarding bottom layer resolution for a 3D bottom model. The developed methodology may be useful for resource planning and setup of seismic surveying experiments involving moving sensing arrays such as those under test in the EU H2020 WiMUST project.