Mapping & Positioning comes under the part of Remote Sensing System. A capable remote sensing system is an essential component in the development of an autonomous vehicle. Without some form of remote sensing, the autonomous vehicle will not be able to navigate around stationary and moving objects except perhaps in well defined environments, where a map of the area is available. The tasks that must be Carried out by an autonomous vehicle, for which information is required from the remote sensing system, can typically be classified into navigation, obstacle avoidance, bottom contour following (ifrequired), mine hunting, classification and neutralization, and surveillance.

The requirements of the remote sensing system for each of the foregoing tasks are as follows. Navigation requires the generation of images which can be transformed into landmarks and local and global area maps which contain an explicit description of the environment. These maps are then used together with pattern recognition and matching processes, to determine the location of the vehicle, and to navigate the vehicle through the optimum path that will satisfy some predefined cost function. For this purpose, the remote sensing system must have high resolution and, if possible, be able to generate a 3-D representation of the ocean bottom.

For obstacle avoidance, the important requirement is that obstacles in the path of the vehicle are detected well in advance so that the vehicle can maneuver around the objects. The required performance of the obstacle avoidance system depends on the control, response and motion characteristics of the vehicle. Obstacle avoidance thus requires both long range and a wide field of view, as well as real time images and processing over the full area of view. In the surveillance mode, the remote sensing system observes the environment and detects activities that can potentially be of threat to the vehicle.

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