A Deformable Spiral Based Algorithm to Smooth Coverage Path Planning for Marine Growth Removal
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Marine growths that flourish on the surfaces of underwater structures, such as bridge pylons, make the inspection and maintenance of these structures challenging. A robotic solution, using an Intervention Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (I-AUV), is developed for removing marine growth. This paper presents a Deformable Spiral Coverage Path Planning (DSCPP) algorithm for marine growth removal. DSCPP generates smooth paths to prevent damage to the surfaces of the structures and to avoid frequent or aggressive decelerations and accelerations due to sharp turns. DSCPP generates a spiral path within a circle and analytically maps the path to a minimum bounding rectangle which encompasses an area of a surface with marine growth. It aims to achieve a spiral path with minimal length while preventing missed areas of coverage. Several case studies are presented to validate the algorithm. Comparison results show that DSCPP outperforms the popular boustrophedon-based coverage approach when considering the requirements for the application under consideration.
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