Simulation toolbox for control design and testing of unmanned vehicle and system technologies
As applications of unmanned vehicles and systems proliferate in both marine and air spaces, the use of simulators for testing the reliability and safety of new technology becomes of paramount importance. This project is focussed on the development of a simulation environments that provide the necessary resources for rapid implementation of mathematical models of marine and aerospace systems with focus on control system design and testing. The platform adopted for the development is Matlab/Simulink. This allows a modular simulator structure, and the possibility of distributed development. Openness and modularity of software components have been prioritised in the design, which enables a systematic reuse of knowledge and results in efficient tools for research and education. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Boeing Research & Technology Australia, Defence Science and Technology Organisaion (DSTO), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the ARC CoE for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control.
Energy-based motion control of underwater vehicles
This project looks at the use of energy-based control strategies derived from Port-controlled Hamiltonian models of underwater vehicles. In particular, we are looking at motion control of slender under-actuated vehicles operating in close proximity to the free-surface, which requires adaptation to the environmental disturbances due to waves. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Defence Science and Technology Organisaion (DSTO)-Marine Platforms Division and the ARC CoE for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control.
Evaluation of robust autonomy for uninhabited aircraft systems (UAS)
As uninhabited aircraft system (UAS) operations become integrated in the national airspace system, reliability plays a key role in guaranteeing a level of safety equivalent to that of manned aircrafts. Robust autonomy (RA) refers to the ability of an UAS to either continue operating in the presence of faults or to safely shut down. To achieve this characteristic, UAS have to incorporate mechanisms that augment the safety and reliability of its guidance, navigation, communication, and control (GNCC) systems. This project seeks the development of various measures of performance and methods that would yield a ﬁgure of merit to assess robust autonomy. This ﬁgure of merit is related to the reliability of the fault-tolerant-control system. The purpose of such a figure is the evaluation of UAS GNCC system performance in terms of simulation scenarios under the presence of faults and environmental conditions relevant to the mission of the UAS. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Boeing Research and Technology Australia (BR&TA) and the ARC CoE for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control.
Identification of parametric dynamic models for vehicle-fluid interactions
In order to design and test control and guidance systems for aircraft and underwater vehicles, one can adopt a grey-box approach. That is, postulate, a-priori, a family of parametric model structures based on physical considerations, and then use data from experiments to extract information related to the actual model structure and its parameters. Different estimators (algorithms) produce estimates (value of the parameters) with different statistical properties. The choice of the estimator depends on its accuracy, computational cost, and robustness. In this project, we are investigating the use of different parameter estimation methods for vehicle-fluid dynamic models. In addition, we are investigating the application of statistical methods that use experimental data for selecting a model structure from a family of potential models. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Boeing Research and Technology Australia (BR&TA) and the ARC CoE for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control.
Waterjet motion control of marine craft
Marine craft equipped with a propulsion system based on water jet pumps provide an ideal platform for motion control since the propulsion system is able to produce rapid changes in the produced thrust. The aim of this project is to develop novel motion control strategies for marine craft equipped with water jets. This includes motion control problems at both low and high forward speeds. This project is being conducted in collaboration with CFW Hamilton Jet & Co (NewZealand) and the ARC CoE for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control.
Motion control for offshore marine operations in training simulators
Ship training simulators are used to improve crew efficiency and thus safety of marine operations. At the core of any virtual-reality simulator lies a mathematical model that describes the ship dynamic response to control and environmental forces. When a new vessel is to be incorporated into a simulator, different types of data for the vessel may be available to be used for system identification to extract a mathematical model for dynamic response. The objective of this project is to integrate various data to develop a procedure for rapid model prototyping and positioning control tuning for offshore marine operation simulations. This project is being conducted in collaboration with The Offshore Simulator Centre, Norway.
Gyroscopic stabilisation of marine platforms
The idea of using gyroscopic forces for the stabilisation of marine structures is over 100 years old. This approach was very effective, but limited control hindered further developments. In recent years, there has been a significant interest in revitalising gyro stabilisers. This project looks at methods for determining the size of the gyros to achieve a desired roll reduction and a control design methodology to ensure performance in a range of sailing conditions. This work is done in collaboration with Halcyon International, Western Australia.