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Underwater Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (U-SLAM)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-21-C-0561
Agency Tracking Number: N211-036-0269
Amount: $146,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N211-036
Solicitation Number: 21.1
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-07-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-01-04
Small Business Information
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-4555
United States
DUNS: 115243701
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Arjuna Balasuriya
 (617) 491-3474
Business Contact
 Mark Felix
Phone: (617) 491-3474
Research Institution

The U.S. Navy uses Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) with different configurations and capabilities for critical missions. To ensure successful mission completion, these UUVs must always know their precise geo-location. UUVs typically have inertial measurement units and a doppler velocity log (DVL) onboard for measuring their speed with respect to the ground, and using these data, position updates are calculated via dead reckoning algorithms. Because these dead reckoning calculations accumulate position error over time, UUVs reduce this error by surfacing for GPS fixes or by using acoustic transponders (beacons) with known positions. However, transponders and GPS fixing methods are not practical in contested and GPS-denied environments. Although available terrain-aided navigation (TAN) and landmark-based simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) techniques can perform localization, they are not suitable for unstructured environments, because TAN depends on high-resolution bathymetric maps, and current SLAM methods only work in highly structured environments. To address UUV position fixing in unstructured environments, we are proposing Underwater SLAM (U-SLAM), an innovative SLAM algorithm that combines Charles River’s expertise in underwater sonar image processing and SLAM-based navigation solutions for a variety of unmanned vehicles. In Phase I, we plan to demonstrate U-SLAM through simulations.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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