Kunz Clayton G.

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name
Clayton G.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Preprint
    Toward extraplanetary under-ice exploration : robotic steps in the Arctic
    ( 2009-01-12) Kunz, Clayton G. ; Murphy, Christopher A. ; Singh, Hanumant ; Pontbriand, Claire W. ; Sohn, Robert A. ; Singh, Sandipa ; Sato, Taichi ; Roman, Christopher N. ; Nakamura, Ko-ichi ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Eustice, Ryan M. ; Camilli, Richard ; Bailey, John
    This paper describes the design and use of two new autonomous underwater vehicles, Jaguar and Puma, which were deployed in the summer of 2007 at sites at 85°N latitude in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean to search for hydrothermal vents. These robots are the first to be deployed and recovered through ice to the deep ocean (> 3500m) for scientific research. We examine the mechanical design, software architecture, navigation considerations, sensor suite and issues with deployment and recovery in the ice based on the missions they carried out. Successful recoveries of vehicles deployed under the ice requires two-way acoustic communication, flexible navigation strategies, redundant localization hardware, and software that can cope with several different kinds of failure. The ability to direct an AUV via the low bandwidth and intermittently functional acoustic channel, is of particular importance. Based on our experiences, we also discuss the applicability of the technology and operational approaches of this expedition to the exploration of Jupiter's ice-covered moon Europa.
  • Preprint
    Map building fusing acoustic and visual information using autonomous underwater vehicles
    ( 2012-10) Kunz, Clayton G. ; Singh, Hanumant
    We present a system for automatically building 3-D maps of underwater terrain fusing visual data from a single camera with range data from multibeam sonar. The six-degree of freedom location of the camera relative to the navigation frame is derived as part of the mapping process, as are the attitude offsets of the multibeam head and the on-board velocity sensor. The system uses pose graph optimization and the square root information smoothing and mapping framework to simultaneously solve for the robot’s trajectory, the map, and the camera location in the robot’s frame. Matched visual features are treated within the pose graph as images of 3-D landmarks, while multibeam bathymetry submap matches are used to impose relative pose constraints linking robot poses from distinct tracklines of the dive trajectory. The navigation and mapping system presented works under a variety of deployment scenarios, on robots with diverse sensor suites. Results of using the system to map the structure and appearance of a section of coral reef are presented using data acquired by the Seabed autonomous underwater vehicle.
  • Preprint
    Explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean
    ( 2007-11-26) Sohn, Robert A. ; Willis, Claire ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Singh, Hanumant ; Edmonds, Henrietta N. ; Kunz, Clayton G. ; Hedman, Ulf ; Helmke, Elisabeth ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Liljebladh, Bengt ; Linder, Julia ; Murphy, Christopher A. ; Nakamura, Ko-ichi ; Sato, Taichi ; Schlindwein, Vera ; Stranne, Christian ; Tausenfreund, Upchurch ; Winsor, Peter ; Jakobsson, Martin ; Soule, Samuel A.
    Roughly 60% of the Earth’s outer surface is comprised of oceanic crust formed by volcanic processes at mid-ocean ridges (MORs). Although only a small fraction of this vast volcanic terrain has been visually surveyed and/or sampled, the available evidence suggests that explosive eruptions are rare on MORs, particularly at depths below the critical point for steam (3000 m). A pyroclastic deposit has never been observed on the seafloor below 3000 m, presumably because the volatile content of mid-ocean ridge basalts is generally too low to produce the gas fractions required to fragment a magma at such high hydrostatic pressure. We employed new deep submergence technologies during an International Polar Year expedition to the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Basin at 85°E, to acquire the first-ever photographic images of ‘zero-age’ volcanic terrain on this remote, ice-covered MOR. Our imagery reveals that the axial valley at 4000 m water depth is blanketed with unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits, including bubble wall fragments (limu o Pele), covering a large area greater than 10 km2. At least 13.5 wt% CO2 is required to fragment magma at these depths, which is ~10x greater than the highest values measured to-date in a MOR basalt. These observations raise important questions regarding the accumulation and discharge of magmatic volatiles at ultra-slow spreading rates on the Gakkel Ridge (6- 14 mm yr-1, full-rate), and demonstrate that large-scale pyroclastic activity is possible along even the deepest portions of the global MOR volcanic system.
  • Preprint
    Long-baseline acoustic navigation for under-ice autonomous underwater vehicle operations
    ( 2008-05-19) Jakuba, Michael V. ; Roman, Christopher N. ; Singh, Hanumant ; Murphy, Christopher A. ; Kunz, Clayton G. ; Willis, Claire ; Sato, Taichi ; Sohn, Robert A.
    The recent Arctic GAkkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) to the Arctic Ocean’s Gakkel Ridge (July/August 2007) aboard the Swedish ice-breaker I/B Oden employed autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for water-column and ocean bottom surveys. These surveys were unique among AUV operations to date in requiring georeferenced navigation in proximity to the seafloor beneath permanent and moving ice cover. We report results for long-baseline (LBL) acoustic navigation during autonomous under-ice surveys near the seafloor and adaptation of the LBL concept for several typical operational situations including navigation in proximity to the ship during vehicle recoveries. Fixed seafloor transponders were free-fall deployed from the ship for deep positioning. The ship’s helicopter collected acoustic travel times from several locations to geo-reference the transponders’ locations, subject to the availability of openings in the ice. Two shallow beacons suspended from the ship provided near-surface spherical navigation in ship-relative coordinates. During routine recoveries, we used this system to navigate the vehicles into open water near the ship before commanding them to surface. In cases where a vehicle was impaired, its position was still determined acoustically through some combination of its acoustic modem, the fixed seafloor transponders, the ship-deployed transponders, and an on-board backup relay transponder. The techniques employed included ranging adapted for a moving origin and hyperbolic navigation.
  • Article
    Effusive and explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel Ridge, 85°E
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-10-06) Pontbriand, Claire W. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Sohn, Robert A. ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Kunz, Clayton G. ; Singh, Hanumant ; Nakamura, Ko-ichi ; Jakobsson, Martin ; Shank, Timothy M.
    We use high-definition seafloor digital imagery and multibeam bathymetric data acquired during the 2007 Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition (AGAVE) to evaluate the volcanic characteristics of the 85°E segment of the ultraslow spreading Gakkel Ridge (9 mm yr−1 full rate). Our seafloor imagery reveals that the axial valley is covered by numerous, small-volume (order ~1000 m3) lava flows displaying a range of ages and morphologies as well as unconsolidated volcaniclastic deposits with thicknesses up to 10 cm. The valley floor contains two prominent volcanic lineaments made up of axis-parallel ridges and small, cratered volcanic cones. The lava flows appear to have erupted from a number of distinct source vents within the ~12–15 km-wide axial valley. Only a few of these flows are fresh enough to have potentially erupted during the 1999 seismic swarm at this site, and these are associated with the Oden and Loke volcanic cones. We model the widespread volcaniclastic deposits we observed on the seafloor as having been generated by the explosive discharge of CO2 that accumulated in (possibly deep) crustal melt reservoirs. The energy released during explosive discharge, combined with the buoyant rise of hot fluid, lofted fragmented clasts of rapidly cooling magma into the water column, and they subsequently settled onto the seafloor as fall deposits surrounding the source vent.
  • Thesis
    Autonomous underwater vehicle navigation and mapping in dynamic, unstructured environments
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2012-02) Kunz, Clayton G.
    This thesis presents a system for automatically building 3-D optical and bathymetric maps of underwater terrain using autonomous robots. The maps that are built improve the state of the art in resolution by an order of magnitude, while fusing bathymetric information from acoustic ranging sensors with visual texture captured by cameras. As part of the mapping process, several internal relationships between sensors are automatically calibrated, including the roll and pitch offsets of the velocity sensor, the attitude offset of the multibeam acoustic ranging sensor, and the full six-degree of freedom offset of the camera. The system uses pose graph optimization to simultaneously solve for the robot’s trajectory, the map, and the camera location in the robot’s frame, and takes into account the case where the terrain being mapped is drifting and rotating by estimating the orientation of the terrain at each time step in the robot’s trajectory. Relative pose constraints are introduced into the pose graph based on multibeam submap matching using depth image correlation, while landmark-based constraints are used in the graph where visual features are available. The two types of constraints work in concert in a single optimization, fusing information from both types of mapping sensors and yielding a texture-mapped 3-D mesh for visualization. The optimization framework also allows for the straightforward introduction of constraints provided by the particular suite of sensors available, so that the navigation and mapping system presented works under a variety of deployment scenarios, including the potential incorporation of external localization systems such as long-baseline acoustic networks. Results of using the system to map the draft of rotating Antarctic ice floes are presented, as are results fusing optical and range data of a coral reef.