Robust adaptive path following of underactuated ships

Duc Do, Z.P. Jiang, Jie Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

294 Citations (Scopus)


Robust path following is an issue of vital practical importance to the ship industry. In this paper, a nonlinear robust adaptive control strategy is developed to force an underactuated surface ship to follow a predefined path at a desired speed, despite the presence of environmental disturbances induced by wave, wind and ocean-current. The proposed controller is scalable and is designed using Lyapunov's direct method and the popular backstepping and parameter projection techniques. Along the way of proving closed-loop stability, we obtain a new stability result for nonlinear cascade systems with non-vanishing uncertainties. Interestingly, it is shown in this paper that our developed control strategy is easily extendible to situations of practical importance such as parking and point-to-point navigation. Numerical simulations using the real data of a monohull ship are provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology for path following of underactuated ships. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-944
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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