Study on the vertical motion characteristics of disc-type underwater gliders with zero pitch angle

  • Han Zhou
  • Tianlin WangEmail author
  • Li Sun
  • Wei Lan
Original article


A disc-type underwater glider (DTUG) is characterized by full-wing body shape, omnidirectional characteristics, and high maneuverability. To further reveal the differences between DTUGs and hybrid-driven underwater gliders (HUGs), the vertical motion of a DTUG with zero pitch angle is simulated. Based on the structural characteristics of DTUGs, the motion control equations with control inputs are derived and solved by the fourth-order Runge–Kutta method. The DTUG’s vertical velocity, fixed-depth motion, vertical motion with external disturbance, and stability are mainly analyzed and compared with those of an HUG. The results show that the DTUG’s full-wing body shape increases its vertical resistance so that the vertical steady motion velocity is low, which is advantageous for vertical depth control but disadvantageous for fast vertical motion; furthermore, fixed-depth motion control can be easily realized in limited space. The DTUG’s vertical motion with external disturbances can quickly return to a stable state within a smaller vertical distance than that of the HUG, which is beneficial for assisting the DTUG in returning to the target position and will improve its movement efficiency in a small body of water with limited depth. The stability analysis shows the DTUG can remain stable within the range of control parameter.


Disc-type underwater glider Motion control equation Vertical motion with zero pitch angle External disturbance Small body of water Stability analysis 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Nos.2016YFC0301500).


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Marine Electrical EngineeringDalian Maritime UniversityDalianChina
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.School of Naval Architecture and Ocean EngineeringDalian Maritime UniversityDalianChina
  4. 4.School of Marine EngineeringDalian Maritime UniversityDalianChina

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