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Talk-13: The Dynamic Compact Control Language Version 3

Toby Schneider, Gobysoft

Inter-vehicle and vehicle-to-operator digital communication is an essential component of collaborative autonomous marine vehicle missions. However, the available links (such as acoustic modems, satellite radio, ground-wave radio) tend to have very low throughput (often less than 100 bits per second) due to the physical limitations of the carrier and the power constraints of the autonomous platforms. Thus, the information throughput available for collaborative vehicle tasks is low unless significant source encoding is performed.

Due to this need for efficient source encoding, existing data marshalling schemes for marine vehicle communication are often tailored specifically for a given application. However, as the number of fielded systems grow, the need for interoperability also grows. The Dynamic Compact Control Language (DCCL3) provides a interface descriptor language (IDL) for marshalling and encoding object-based messages for transmission over very slow links. The DCCL IDL provides an intuitive way for bounding messages based on their fields' natural physical bounds. In addition, DCCL3 adds a static (compile-time) unit-safety mechanism to complement the numeric bounding and reduce unit conversion and mismatch errors.

This talk will present the design and several applications (many of which are MOOS-based) of DCCL version 3. The aim of the standalone DCCL3 release is to expand the use of the project into other robotics domains with similar physical link constraints, such as degraded terrestrial links in the event of natural or man-made disasters.


  • Communications
  • AUVs