Path planning on satellite images for unmanned surface vehicles

Joe Ming Yang, Chien Ming Tseng, P. S. Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, the development of autonomous surface vehicles has been a field of increasing research interest. There are two major areas in this field: control theory and path planning. This study focuses on path planning, and two objectives are discussed: path planning for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and implementation of path planning in a real map. In this paper, satellite thermal images are converted into binary images which are used as the maps for the Finite Angle A* algorithm (FAA*), an advanced A* algorithm that is used to determine safer and suboptimal paths for USVs. To plan a collision-free path, the algorithm proposed in this article considers the dimensions of surface vehicles. Furthermore, the turning ability of a surface vehicle is also considered, and a constraint condition is introduced to improve the quality of the path planning algorithm, which makes the traveled path smoother. This study also shows a path planning experiment performed on a real satellite thermal image, and the path planning results can be used by an USV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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