Lea, R.K., Allen, R. and Merry, S.L.
A comparitive study of control techniques for an underwater flight vehicle
International Journal of Systems Science, 30, (9), . (doi:10.1080/002077299291831).
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Unmanned, underwater vehicles have been developed considerably in recent years. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are increasingly used for routine inspection and maintenance tasks but have a range that is limited by the umbilical cable. For long range operations, such as oceanographic exploration and surveying, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are emerging which haveon-board power and are equipped with advanced control capabilities to carry out tasks with the minimum of human intervention. AUVs typically resemble torpedoes in that mosthave control surfaces and a single propulsion unit, and must move forwards to manoeuvre. Such vehicles are called flight vehicles. This paper describes techniques which are candidates for control of a flight AUV and identifies controllers used on some existing vehicles. Since underwater vehicle dynamics are nonlinear, fuzzy logic and sliding mode control were felt to have promise for autopilot application due to their potential robustness. Following development using a comprehensive simulation programme, the controllers were tested using the experimental vehicle, Subzero II, and their performance compared with that of a classical linear controller. The relative merits of the methods for practical implementation are discussed.
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