Title: Formation control of multiple marine vehicles with velocity reference estimation-based passivity-control design

Authors: Jawhar Ghommam; Faïçal Mnif; Oscar Calvo

Addresses: Mechatronics and Autonomous Systems, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, BP W, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia. ' Mechatronics and Autonomous Systems, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, BP W, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Muscat 123, Oman. ' University of the Ballearic Islands Palma de Mallorca, Cra. de Valldemossa, Km 7.5. Palma (Illes Balears), Spain

Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of coordination path following control of multiple autonomous vehicles. Stated briefly, the problem consists of steering a group of vehicles along a specified path, while holding a desired inter-ship formation pattern. Path following for each vehicle amounts to reducing an appropriately defined geometric error to zero. We first show a passivity property for the path following system and, next, combine this with a passivity-based synchronisation algorithm to coordinate the vehicles along their paths. Vehicle coordination is achieved by adjusting the speed of each vehicle along its path according to information exchanged on the positions of a subset of the other vehicles, as determined by the communication topology adopted. We further assume the unavailability of the reference velocity to each vehicle; we consider the situation where this information is only available to a leader of this formation. Distributed observers are designed for the follower vehicles, under the assumption that the velocity of the leader cannot be measured in real time. Simulations results are presented and discussed.

Keywords: cooperative control; path following; Serret-Frenet; passivity theory; marine vehicles; nonlinear observers; ship formation control; multiple vehicles; velocity reference; multi-vehicle coordination; path following; autonomous vehicles; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMIC.2012.045215

International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, 2012 Vol.15 No.2, pp.97 - 107

Published online: 30 Jan 2012 *

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