Seakeeping control of HYSUCATs

Milandri, Giovanni Sergio (2006-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


This thesis investigates practical methods of modelling and control of the vertical motions of a hydrofoil assisted catamaran, the HYSUCAT. The aim of the control application is to reduce the motions, and consequently the motion sickness of the passengers. First, a potential flowcommercial program, POWERSEA,was used to model the system. This uses 2-D strip methods to model the planing hull-form of the vessel, and the Peter du Cane hydrofoil theory for modelling of the foils. These simulations are compared to experimental towing tank results, with fair agreement at lower speeds, but limited applicability at high speeds. Thus for the control design the agreement was insufficient. As an alternative, a simple coupled 2 degree-of-freedom spring - mass - damper model is proposed, for which the equations of motion are derived. This has 9 unknown parameters; three of these aremeasured directly, two are modelled, and the remaining four were identified using an experimental parameter estimation technique. Representative parameter values were calculated frommultiple experiments for application in the control design. The design of a control system was based on the above model. First, an output-weighted Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) was designed to obtain the full state feedback gains. A non-linear ’bang-bang’ control design was then implemented to try and speed up the response of the system. These control strategies, as well as no control, were applied in the towing tank in regular waves, with good results at low and medium frequencies. At the design point, 32% and 65% reductions in rms motions were achieved for pitch and heave, respectively. At high frequencies, though, not much improvement was achieved due to the bandwidth limitation of the control system. The LQR results were better overall (reduced motions) across the frequency range than the bang-bang controller, as well as having a lower added resistance in waves. The control design of the output-weighted LQR was then revised to be based on alternative outputs, as a possible improvement. However, a further two controller designs did not yield any noticeable improvement and were not developed further.

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