Control-Oriented Planar Motion Modeling of Unmanned Surface Vehicles
Stilwell, Daniel J.
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This technical report describes a comparison of experimentally identified dynamic models for the planar motion of an unmanned surface vehicle (USV). The objective is to determine a model which is (1) sufficiently rich to enable effective model-based control design, (2) sufficiently simple to allow straight forward parameter identification, and (3) sufficiently general to apply to a variety of hullforms and actuator configurations. Starting from a three degree-of-freedom nonlinear model obtained from physical principles, we consider five simplified variants that include four linear models and two nonlinear models for low speed operation. The first linear model comes from linearizing the full planar boat dynamics about a straight constant speed. A first order steering model relates steering angle to turn rate. A second order steering model relates steering angle to turn rate and sideslip angle. A first order speed model relates throttle setting to forward speed. The two nonlinear models are derived from potential flow around a simple shape. Linear damping and quadratic damping are included in each nonlinear model respectively. To identify parameters for these models, data must be collected that show the dynamic and steady-state relationships between inputs and outputs. Using these data sets, simple models that satisfy the three given criteria are identified for three types of unmanned surface vehicle: a rigid hull inflatable boat with an outboard engine, a rigid hull inflatable boat with a waterjet propulsion system, and a small pontoon boat with two electric thrusters.