Improved Dynamic Modeling and Robust Control of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

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Virginia Tech

In this dissertation, we seek to improve the dynamic modeling and control of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). We address nonlinear hydrodynamic modeling, simplifying modeling assumptions, and robust control for AUVs. In the literature, various hydrodynamic models exist with varying model complexity and with no universally accepted model. We compare various hydrodynamic models traditionally employed to predict the motion of AUVs by estimating model coefficients using least-squares and adaptive identifier techniques. Additionally, we derive several dynamic models for an AUV employing varying sets of simplifying assumptions. We experimentally assess the efficacy of invoking typical assumptions to simplify the equations of motion.

For robust control design, we develop a procedure for designing robust attitude controllers based on loop-shaping ideas. We specifically address the challenge of adjusting the desired actuator bandwidth in a loop-shaping design framework. Finally, we present a novel receding horizon H-infinity control algorithm to improve the control of autonomous vehicle systems working in high-disturbance environments, employing a Markov jump linear system framework to model the stochastic and non-stationary disturbances experienced by the vehicle. Our main results include a new Bounded Real Lemma for stability analysis and an output feedback H-infinity control synthesis algorithm.

This work uses numerical simulations and extensive field trials of autonomous underwater vehicles to identify and verify dynamic models and to validate control algorithms developed herein.

autonomous vehicles, dynamics, parameter estimation, H-infinity control, time-inhomogeneous Markov jump linear systems