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Architecture of a Dynamic Position Autonomous Vessel

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Ocean and Marine Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.194.1 - 24.194.11



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Paper Authors


Jonathan Edward Paquette US Coast Guard

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I am a Coast Guard Ensign serving in Cape May, NJ. I received my BS in Electrical Engineering from the Coast Guard Academy.

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Thomas Robert Cogley


Tooran Emami Ph. D. U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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Tooran Emami is Tenure Track Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering, Electrical Engineering Section, at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. She received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Wichita State University in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Dr. Emami was an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Wichita State University for three semesters. Her research interests are Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controllers, robust control, time delay, compensator design, and filter design applications, for continuous-time and discrete-time systems.

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Aaron Peder Dahlen USCG

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Richard J. Hartnett P.E. U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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Architecture of a Dynamic Position Autonomous VesselAbstract This paper introduces the architecture of an autonomous floating vessel for real timeheading control and modeling. The vessel is a four by eight foot barge propelled by sixcommercial Minn Kota trolling motors. The automatic controller consists of a discrete timeLogic Proportional Integral Derivative (LPID). The LPID controller determines the motoroutputs necessary to correct the real time vessel’s heading angle. A Printed Circuit Board (PCB)designed by students is used to control each motor’s thrust by a computer. The controlleroutputs are combined and normalized by the computer before being sent to the microcontroller.An AIRMAR PB200 WeatherStation sensor is used to collect vessel data. All data are collectedin a database for the real time control and post analysis. This architecture is demonstrated byexperimental data collected from this vessel at the United States Coast Guard Academy for acapstone project in Electrical Engineering major. In this senior project, students used successful design architecture in performinglinearization, data collection, utilizes sensor, robust controller design, and the identification ofthe system dynamic. The first challenge was to build the vessel and collect initial data. Vesselheading (system output) and the motors trust (system input) as a function of time were recordedin a data base. Students used standard linear least squares system identification methods toidentify the vessel’s discrete-time step invariant equivalent transfer function. The open-loopsystem identification was performed from a random motors (4 motors) trust in order to maintainsome directional control during the data collection. After the system identification studentsdesigned a logic discrete time PID controller for the real time controller of the heading ofplatform. The real time heading controller for the vessel was based on the updating of discretetime PID controller coefficients.

Paquette, J. E., & Cogley, T. R., & Emami, T., & Dahlen, A. P., & Hartnett, R. J. (2014, June), Architecture of a Dynamic Position Autonomous Vessel Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20085

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