Design and Analysis of an Underwater Vehicle for Controlled Gliding

Joshua Graver, Jonathan Liu, Craig Woolsey, Naomi Ehrich Leonard

In Proceedings of the 1998 Conference on Information Sciences and Systems, Princeton, NJ, March 1998, p. 801-806.


In this paper we describe the design and preliminary analysis of a small underwater vehicle built to demonstrate and test dynamics and control of underwater gliding. Underwater gliding refers to motion in which propulsion is provided by the force of gravity and steering is maintained by controlling the location of the center of gravity of the vehicle. Vehicles that perform underwater gliding are expected to be useful as cost-effective platforms for ocean sensing. Our experimental vehicle has an internal two-degree-of-freedom sliding mass that is positioned via radio control. The sliding mass will be used to switch between different glide paths to move the vehicle as desired. We show how to compute the desired location of the center of gravity of an underwater vehicle (and thus the position of the sliding mass of our test vehicle) to produce desired glide motions and we investigate the stability of these motions as a function of a center of gravity parameter.

Postscript Version (6 pages postcript)

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