I'm intrigued by the possible applications of underwater drones, but as someone new to this subject, I'm clueless as to how navigation is managed for a vehicle that remains submerged for any length of time.  I assume magnetic orientation is available, as well as speed through the water (i.e., the analog to airspeed), but I imagine inertial navigation would drift horribly after a short period of time unless you have a very expensive IMU.

I could also imagine some kind of external reference system (e.g., an acoustic analog to GPS), but I'm guessing it would be complex to set up and could only cover a fairly limited area.

I'm curious to hear what navigation solutions are already in use for underwater vehicles.

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