Undersea vehicle autopilot off weight design compensation

Colin D. Begg, Daniel J. Bowman, A. Scott Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A service issue that can adversely affect the performance of many undersea vehicles in general application is either over or under weight operation. Depth keeping precision can be impacted when a vehicle is launched at a weight different from that specified in the nominal flight control system design. As a result, overall maneuvering performance and the vehicle application objectives can be significantly impacted. This paper presents a compensation method based on simple expansion of the vehicle's autopilot depth controller trim schedule. Expansion is defined relative to a vehicle's nominally fixed weightbuoyancy flight control equilibrium trim design point and refers to practical variances in both net buoyancy and buoyancyweight center geometric offset. This implementation requires only a simple, highly feasible, dry dockside launch under/overweight measurement for operational flight static reference. Off weight compensation is enabled by a priori determination of the vehicle's steady speed, straight-horizontal flight path, body pitch, and elevator trim angles when subjected to the expected set range of weight-buoyancy variations. The method and implementation are outlined. A depth step change maneuver, using a high fidelity autopilot-software-in-the-loop maneuvering simulation, is examined to verify the implementation feasibility and effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMechatronics; Estimation and Identification; Uncertain Systems and Robustness; Path Planning and Motion Control; Tracking Control Systems; Multi-Agent and Networked Systems; Manufacturing; Intelligent Transportation and Vehicles; Sensors and Actuators; Diagnostics and Detection; Unmanned, Ground and Surface Robotics; Motion and Vibration Control Applications
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791858288
StatePublished - 2017
EventASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2017 - Tysons, United States
Duration: Oct 11 2017Oct 13 2017

Publication series

NameASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2017


OtherASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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