AUVs are often used for data-gathering applications, but there is an increasing interest for their use in inspection, maintenance, and repair operations, which are mainly performed by ROVs. For these tasks, the vehicle must maintain its position while inspections or manipulations are performed. In this journal, the authors explore using a model-free high-order sliding mode controller for the station-keeping of a BlueROV2 AUV.
Abstract: The use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) has expanded in recent years to include inspection, maintenance, and repair missions. For these tasks, the vehicle must maintain its position while inspections or manipulations are performed. Some station-keeping controllers for AUVs can be found in the literature that exhibits robust performance against external disturbances. However, they are either model-based or require an observer to deal with the disturbances. Moreover, most of them have been evaluated only by numerical simulations. In this paper, the feasibility of a model-free high-order sliding mode controller for the station-keeping problem is validated. The proposed controller was evaluated through numerical simulations and experiments in a semi-Olympic swimming pool, introducing external disturbances that remained unknown to the controller. Results have shown robust performance in terms of the root mean square error (RMSE) of the vehicle position. The simulation resulted in the outstanding station-keeping of the BlueROV2 vehicle, as the tracking errors were kept to zero throughout the simulation, even in the presence of strong ocean currents. The experimental results demonstrated the robustness of the controller, which was able to maintain the RMSE in the range of 1–4 cm for the depth of the vehicle, outperforming related work, even when the disturbance was large enough to produce thruster saturation.
Author: González-García, J.; Gómez-Espinosa, A.; García-Valdovinos, L. G.; Salgado-Jiménez, T.; Cuan-Urquizo, E.; Escobedo Cabello, J. A.
To read more, click here!