The main goal here is to design a proper and efficient controller for a ship autopilot based on the sliding mode control method. A hydrodynamic numerical model of CyberShip II including wave effects is applied to simulate the ship autopilot system by using time domain analysis. To compare the results similar research was conducted with the PD controller, which was adapted to the autopilot system. The differences in simulation results between two controllers are analyzed by a cost function composed of a heading angle error and rudder deflection either in calm water or in waves. Simulation results show the effectiveness of the method in the presence of nonlinearities and disturbances, and high performance of the proposed controller.
The paper presents the design of a hybrid controller used to control the movement of a ship in different operating modes, thereby improving the performance of basic maneuvers. This task requires integrating several operating modes, such as maneuvering the ship at low speeds, steering the ship at different speeds in the course or along the trajectory, and stopping the ship on the route. These modes are executed by five component controllers switched on and off by the supervisor depending on the type of operation performed. The desired route, containing the coordinates of waypoints and tasks performed along consecutive segments of the reference trajectory, is obtained by the supervisory system from the system operator. The former supports switching between component controllers and provides them with new set-points after each change in the reference trajectory segment, thereby ensuring stable operation of the entire hybrid switching controller.
The study also presents designs of all controller components, which are done using a complex mathematical model of the selected ship, after its simplification depending on the type of controller. The developed control system was tested on the training ship Blue Lady and used to train captains at the Ship Handling Research and Training Center near Iława in Poland.
The conducted research involved an automatic movement of the ship from one port to another. The performed transit route required the ship to leave the port, pass the water area, and berth at the port of destination. The study revealed good quality of the designed hybrid controller.
Anna Witkowska, Miroslaw Tomera and Roman Śmierzchalski
A Backstepping Approach to Ship Course Control
As an object of course control, the ship is characterised by a nonlinear function describing static manoeuvring characteristics that reflect the steady-state relation between the rudder deflection and the rate of turn of the hull. One of the methods which can be used for designing a nonlinear ship course controller is the backstepping method. It is used here for designing two configurations of nonlinear controllers, which are then applied to ship course control. The parameters of the obtained nonlinear control structures are tuned to optimise the operation of the control system. The optimisation is performed using genetic algorithms. The quality of operation of the designed control algorithms is checked in simulation tests performed on the mathematical model of a tanker. In order to obtain reference results to be used for comparison with those recorded for nonlinear controllers designed using the backstepping method, a control system with the PD controller is examined as well.