Tracking control of an underactuated surface vessel

K.Y. Pettersen, H. Nijmeijer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


We consider tracking control of a surface vessel with only two control inputs. The surface vessel model has certain similarities with chained form systems, but cannot be transformed to chained form. In particular, the model has a drift vector field as opposed to the drift-free chained form systems. It is shown, however, that methods developed for tracking control of chained form systems, can be used for developing a tracking control law for the surface vessel. Through a coordinate transformation the model is put in a triangularlike form which makes it possible to use integrator backstepping to develop a tracking control law. The control law steers both the position variables and the course angle of the surface vessel, providing semi-global exponential stabilization of the desired trajectory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th IEEE conference on decision and control : December 16-18, 1998, Tampa, Florida. Vol. 4
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Print)0-7803-4397-2
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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