JOURNAL OF SOFTWARE (JSW)
ISSN : 1796-217X
Volume : 3    Issue : 7    Date : October 2008

Graphical Mission Specification and Partitioning for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
Gary Giger, Mahmut Kandemir, and John Dzielski
Page(s): 42-54
Full Text:
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Abstract
The use of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) has been proposed for several different types
of applications including hydrographic surveys (e.g., mapping the ocean floor and exploring sunken
wreckage), mine detection and identification, law enforcement (e.g., enforcing certain fishing
regulations), environmental and pollution monitoring, and even performing surveys to find potential
drilling locations on the ocean floor for the oil industry. Recently the idea of using multiple,
cooperating UUVs to execute these missions has also been proposed. There are two main factors
that dictate a particular mission’s success. The first factor regards creating a mission that is free
from errors, in terms of both syntax and semantics. The second factor deals with properly splitting a
mission into a set of sub-missions and assigning each sub-mission to a group of UUVs. Even
though tools have been developed to help reduce these potential problems such as high level
mission programming languages, compilers for these languages and utilities to automatically split
an operator specified mission, the potential still exists for errors when creating a mission (e.g.
semantic errors introduced from programming and maintaining the code for existing missions). The
goal of this article is to present a programming-free, parallel mission generation utility that uses a
series of tools we developed along with a commercially available graphical package. Our utility
allows an operator to graphically specify a mission for a group of UUVs and automatically split the
mission among the group based on an objective provided by the operator. The main contribution of
this tool is twofold. First, it relieves the operator from low-level mission programming including the
manual partitioning of the mission across a group of available UUVs. Second, it allows the operator
to review the resulting set of generated sub-missions using the graphical interface. Thus, no matter
what the particular UUV application is, this tool is another step towards successfully creating
missions for UUVs.

Index Terms
High-Level Mission Programming, UUV, Graphical Mission Specification, Mission Planning,
Compiler.