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Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are remarkable machines that revolutionized the process of gathering ocean data. Their major breakthroughs resulted from successful developments of complementary technologies to overcome the challenges associated with autonomous operation in harsh environments. Most of these advances aimed at reaching new application scenarios and decreasing the cost of ocean data collection, by reducing ship time and automating the process of data gathering with accurate geo location. With the present capabilities, some novel paradigms are already being employed to further exploit the on board intelligence, by making decisions on line based on real time interpretation of sensor data. This book collects a set of self contained chapters covering different aspects of AUV technology and applications in more detail than is commonly found in journal and conference papers. They are divided into three main sections, addressing innovative vehicle design, navigation and control techniques, and mission preparation and analysis. The progress conveyed in these chapters is inspiring, providing glimpses into what might be the future for vehicle technology and applications.