Control of Coordinated Patterns for Ocean Sampling

Fumin Zhang, David M. Fratantoni, Derek Paley, John Lund and Naomi Ehrich Leonard

International Journal of Control, special issue on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Uninhabited Underwater Vehicles, Vol. 80, No. 7, July 2007, pp. 1186-1199.
A class of underwater vehicles are modelled as Newtonian particles for navigation and control. We show a general method that controls cooperative Newtonian particles to generate patterns on closed smooth curves. These patterns are chosen for good sampling performance using mobile sensor networks. We measure the spacing between neighbouring particles by the relative curve phase along the curve. The distance between a particle and the desired curve is measured using an orbit function. The orbit value and the relative curve phase are then used as feedback to control motion of each particle. From an arbitrary initial configuration, the particles converge asymptotically to form an invariant pattern on the desired curve. We describe application of this method to control underwater gliders in a field experiment in Buzzards Bay, MA in March 2006.

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