Design of a hover mode autopilot for the Phoenix autonomous underwater vehicle
Gonzalez, Juan Cesar
McGhee, Robert B.
Healey, Anthony J.
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The potential uses for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV's) is gaining recognition by organizations world wide. As such, continuous research toward improving existing vehicles by seeking new designs and increasing efficiency is being funded by organizations that serve to benefit from the new technology. Some examples for which AUV's may be used include mine countermeasures, submerged structural repair or destruction, search and rescue, biological study, ocean floor and coastal survey. The goal of this thesis is to design an autopilot that will use a combination of both vertical thrusters, both horizontal thrusters, and the main screws simultaneously to control the NPS phoenix AUV's posture during hovering conditions and short transits. The control design is implemented and simulated using Common LISP object oriented programming language. The results of this thesis are favorable. Since this thesis presents only a basic approach to an autopilot design, it is believed by the author that with further improvements to the design presented, the existing hover made autopilot can eventually be upgraded with the resulting autopilot design. This upgrade would greatly increase the autopilots efficiency. (AN)
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