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A Stochastic Optimization Method for Energy-based Path Planning

Subramani, D. N., Lolla, T., Haley Jr., P. J., Lermusiaux, P. F. J., 2015. A stochastic optimization method for energy-based path planning. In: Ravela, S., Sandu, A. (Eds.), DyDESS 2014. Vol. 8964 of LNCS. Springer, pp. 347-358.

We present a novel stochastic optimization method to compute energy-optimal paths, among all time-optimal paths, for vehicles traveling in dynamic unsteady currents. The method defines a stochastic class of instantaneous nominal vehicle speeds and then obtains the energy-optimal paths within the class by minimizing the total time-integrated energy usage while still satisfying the strong-constraint time-optimal level set equation. This resulting stochastic level set equation is solved using a dynamically orthogonal decomposition and the energy-optimal paths are then selected for each arrival time, among all stochastic time-optimal paths. The first application computes energy-optimal paths for crossing a steady front. Results are validated using a semi-analytical solution obtained by solving a dual nonlinear energy-time optimization problem. The second application computes energy-optimal paths for a realistic mission in the Middle Atlantic Bight and New Jersey Shelf/Hudson Canyon region, using dynamic data-driven ocean field estimates.