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Smoothed A* algorithm for practical unmanned surface vehicle path planning

Song, R; Liu, Y; Bucknall, R; (2018) Smoothed A* algorithm for practical unmanned surface vehicle path planning. Applied Ocean Research , 83 pp. 9-20. 10.1016/j.apor.2018.12.001. Green open access

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Abstract

An effective path planning or route planning algorithm is essential for guiding unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) between way points or along a trajectory. The A* algorithm is one of the most efficient algorithms for calculating a safe route with the shortest distance cost. However, the route generated by the conventional A* algorithm is constrained by the resolution of the map and it may not be compatible with the non-holonomic constraint of the USV. In this paper an improved A* algorithm has been proposed and applied to the Springer USV. A new path smoothing process with three path smoothers has been developed to improve the performance of the generated route, reducing unnecessary ‘jags’, having no redundant waypoints and offering a more continuous route. Both simulation and experimental results show that the smoothed A* algorithm outperforms the conventional algorithm in both sparse and cluttered environments that have been uniformly rasterised. It has been demonstrated that the proposed improved A* route planning algorithm can be applied to the Springer USV providing promising results when tracking trajectories.

Type: Article
Title: Smoothed A* algorithm for practical unmanned surface vehicle path planning
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.apor.2018.12.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apor.2018.12.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: USV navigation, Path planning, A* algorithm, Autonomous
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064237
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