Maryland Robotics Student Seminar: Dynamics and Control of a Buoyancy-Driven Underwater Vehicle

Friday, March 4, 2022
2:00 p.m.
Lena Johnson
301 405 8870

Dynamics and Control of a Buoyancy-Driven Underwater Vehicle for Estimating and Tracking the Scattering Layer

Rachel Jacqueline Suitor
PhD Student, Aerospace Engineering
Advisor: Derek Paley

Design of a control strategy for an autonomous buoyancy-driven underwater vehicle tasked with estimating and tracking the pelagic acoustic-scattering layer at depths of up to 1000 meters. This vehicle is the National Geographic Driftcam, a robotic imaging platform with buoyancy-driven depth control, used to study the deep-water pelagic scattering layer. Error-based tracking is presented first using state-feedback control with a known reference signal, for both continuous- and discrete-time (intermittent) command inputs. The scattering layer dynamics are modeled as a simple harmonic oscillator and an estimation strategy with a dynamic observer is presented. To estimate the nominal time-varying depth of the scattering layer we use a measurement function that represents the depth-varying density of organisms observable in the scattering layer. A time-varying reference tracking control uses output feedback with either continuous- or discrete-time command updates. The time-varying reference is the onboard estimate of the scattering layer. Preliminary experimental results from pool and ocean testing are presented, along with details about the testing protocols from running experiments in the Gulf of Mexico.

About the Robotics Student Seminars
The Robotics Student Seminars at the University of Maryland College Park are a student-run series of talks given by current robotics students.

The purpose of these talks is to:

  • Encourage interaction between Robotics students from different subfields;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to be aware of and possibly get involved in the research their peers are conducting;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to receive feedback on their current research;
  • Provide speaking opportunities for Robotics students.

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