Path Controller for Ships with Switching Approach

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1196)


The work presents the algorithm for controlling the movement of a ship along a desired route. The planned desired route for a moving ship was defined as a set of way-points connected by straight lines. The ship’s control is based on changes in the rudder angle, thus enabling the vessel to move along a given segment of the cruise route. The designed control algorithm is designed to minimize the heading error and cross-tracking error determined relative to the segment connecting two successive way-points. A different controller was used to minimize each of these errors. On the line segment, both controllers are switched on, while when there is a switch from one line segment to the next, only one controller is used, the one related to minimizing the course deviation. To obtain smooth control - after performing the return maneuver - make a skilful activation of the second controller, minimizing cross-tracking error. For this purpose, the control algorithm uses the appropriate switching logic with a scaled set signal from the controller minimizing the cross-tracking error. The performance quality of the developed algorithm for controlling the ship’s motion was tested on the training ship Blue Lady at the Ship Handling Research and Training Centre located on Lake Silm at Kamionka near Iława, Poland.


Ship steering Underactuated control Track-keeping Experimental results 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ship AutomationGdynia Maritime UniversityGdyniaPoland

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