Encyclopedia of Systems and Control

Living Edition
| Editors: John Baillieul, Tariq Samad

Control of Ship Roll Motion

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-5102-9_123-1


The undesirable effects of roll motion of ships (rocking about the longitudinal axis) became noticeable in the mid-nineteenth century when significant changes were introduced to the design of ships as a result of sails being replaced by steam engines and the arrangement being changed from broad to narrow hulls. The combination of these changes led to lower transverse stability (lower restoring moment for a given angle of roll) with the consequence of larger roll motion. The increase in roll motion and its effect on cargo and human performance lead to the development several control devices that aimed at reducing and controlling roll motion. The control devices most commonly used today are fin stabilizers, rudder, anti-roll tanks, and gyrostabilizers. The use of different types of actuators for control of ship roll motion has been amply demonstrated for over 100 years. Performance, however, can still fall short of expectations because of difficulties associated with control system design, which have proven to be far from trivial due to fundamental performance limitations and large variations of the spectral characteristics of wave-induced roll motion. This short article provides an overview of the fundamentals of control design for ship roll motion reduction. The overview is limited to the most common control devices. Most of the material is based on Perez (Ship motion control. Advances in industrial control. Springer, London, 2005) and Perez and Blanke (Ann Rev Control 36(1):1367–5788, 2012).


Ship motion control Roll damping 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical Engineering & Computer ScienceQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbane, QLDAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Electrical Engineering, Automation and Control GroupTechnical University of Denmark (DTU)LyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS)Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway