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Repeated AUV surveying of urchin barrens in North Eastern Tasmania

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 05:12 authored by Williams, SB, Pizarro, O, Jakuba, MV, Mahon, I, Scott LingScott Ling, Craig JohnsonCraig Johnson
This paper describes an approach to achieving high resolution, repeated benthic surveying using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). A stereo based Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) technique is used to estimate the trajectory of the vehicle during multiple overlapping grid based surveys. The vehicle begins each dive on the surface and uses GPS to navigate to a designated start location. Once it reaches the designated location on the surface, the vehicle dives and executes a pre-programmed grid survey, collecting co-registered high resolution stereo images, multibeam sonar and water chemistry data. A suite of navigation instruments are used while the vehicle is underway to estimate its pose relative to the local navigation frame. Following recovery of the vehicle, the SLAM technique is used to refine the estimated vehicle trajectory and to find loop closures both within each survey and between successive missions to co-register the dives. Results are presented from recent deployments of the AUV Sirius at a site in North Eastern Tasmania. The objective of the deployments described in this work were to document the behaviour of barrens-forming sea sea urchins which have recently become resident in the area. The sea urchins can overgraze luxuriant kelp beds that once dominated these areas, leaving only rocky barrens habitat. The high resolution stereo images and resulting three dimensional surface models allow the nocturnal behaviour of the animals, which emerge to feed predominantly at night, to be described. Co-registered images and resulting habitat models collected during the day and at night are being analysed to describe the behaviour of the sea urchins in more detail.


Publication title

Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



Place of publication


Event title

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Event Venue

Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2010 IEEE

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)

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