A space-saving steering method for underwater gliders in lake monitoring

  • Yu-shi Zhu
  • Can-jun Yang
  • Shi-jun Wu
  • Qing Li
  • Xiao-le Xu


An increasing number of underwater gliders have been applied to lake monitoring. Lakes have a limited vertical space. Therefore, good space-saving capacity is required for underwater gliders to enlarge the spacing between monitoring waypoints. This paper presents a space-saving steering method under a small pitch angle (SPA) for appearance-fixed underwater gliders. Steering under an SPA increases the steering angle in per unit vertical space. An amended hydrodynamic model for both small and large attack angles is presented to help analyze the steering process. Analysis is conducted to find the optimal parameters of net buoyancy and roll angle for steering under an SPA. A lake trial with a prototype tiny underwater glider (TUG) is conducted to inspect the applicability of the presented model. The trial results show that steering under an SPA saves vertical space, unlike that under a large pitch angle. Simulation results of steering are consistent with the trial results. In addition, multiple-waypoint trial shows that monitoring with steering under an SPA covers a larger horizontal displacement than that without steering.

Key words

Underwater glider Lake monitoring Space-saving Steering method Small pitch angle (SPA) Hydrodynamics 

CLC number



Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahmadzadeh, S.R., Kormushev, P., Caldwell, D.G., 2014. Multi-objective reinforcement learning for AUV thruster failure recovery. IEEE Symp. on Adaptive Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning, p.1–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ADPRL.2014.7010621Google Scholar
  2. Austin, J., 2013a. Observations of near-inertial energy in Lake Superior. Limnol. Ocean., 58(2): 715–728. http://dx.doi.org/10.4319/lo.2013.58.2.0715MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Austin, J., 2013b. The potential for autonomous underwater gliders in large lake research. J. Great Lake Res., 39(Supplement 1):8–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2013.01.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bardyshev, V.I., 2004. Testing underwater bottom-moored antenna arrays in the sea and in a man-made lake. Acoust. Phys., 50(6): 641–646. http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/1.1825092CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Caffaz, A., Caiti, A., Casalino, G., et al., 2010. The hybrid glider/AUV folaga. IEEE Robot. Autom. Mag., 17(1): 31–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MRA.2010.935791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cao, J.J., Cao, J.L., Yao, B.H., et al., 2015. Three dimensional model, hydrodynamics analysis and motion simulation of an underwater glider. OCEANS, p.1–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/OCEANS-Genova.2015.7271365Google Scholar
  7. Chen, Y., Lu, C.J., Guo, J.H., 2010. Numerical study of the cavitating flows over underwater vehicle with large angle of attack. J. Hydrodyn., 22(5): 893–898. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1001-6058(10)60048-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Denkenberger, J.S., Driscoll, C.T., Effler, S.W., et al., 2007. Comparison of an urban lake targeted for rehabilitation and a reference lake based on robotic monitoring. Lake Reserv. Manag., 23(1): 11–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07438140709353906CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fan, S., Woolsey, C.A., 2014. Dynamics of underwater gliders in currents. Ocean Eng., 84: 249–258. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2014.03.024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Geisbert, J.S., 2005. Underwater Gliders: Dynamics, Control and Design. PhD Thesis, Princeton University, Princeton, USA.Google Scholar
  11. Geisbert, J.S., 2007. Hydrodynamic modeling for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Using Computational and Semi-Empirical Methods. MS Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, USA.Google Scholar
  12. He, R., Wooller, M.J., Pohlman, J.W., et al., 2012. Diversity of active aerobic methanotrophs along depth profiles of Arctic and Subarctic lake water column and sediments. ISME J., 6(10): 1937–1948. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2012.34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hussain, N.A.A., Arshad, M.R., Mohd-Mokhtar, R., 2011. Underwater glider modelling and analysis for net buoyancy, depth and pitch angle control. Ocean Eng., 38(16): 1782–1791. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2011.09.001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Isa, K., Arshad, M.R., 2011. Motion simulation for propellerdriven USM underwater glider with controllable wings and rudder. 2nd Int. Conf. on Instrumentation Control and Automation, p.316–321. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICA.2011.6130179Google Scholar
  15. Isa, K., Arshad, M.R., Ishak, S., 2014. A hybrid-driven underwater glider model, hydrodynamics estimation, and an analysis of the motion control. Ocean Eng., 81: 111–129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2014.02.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ivanov, A.V., Gladkochub, D.P., Déverchère, J., et al., 2013. Introduction to special issue: geology of the Lake Baikal region. J. Asian Earth Sci., 62: 1–3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2012.12.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones, C., Allsup, B., DeCollibus, C., 2014. Slocum glider: expanding our understanding of the oceans. OCEANS, p.1–10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/OCEANS.2014.7003260Google Scholar
  18. Leonard, N.E., Paley, D.A., Davis, R.E., et al., 2010. Coordinated control of an underwater glider fleet in an adaptive ocean sampling field experiment in Monterey Bay. J. Field Rob., 27(6): 718–740. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rob.20366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li, Y., Gal, G., Makler-Pick, V., et al., 2014. Examination of the role of the microbial loop in regulating lake nutrient stoichiometry and phytoplankton dynamics. Biogeosciences, 11(11): 2939–2960. http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-11-2939-2014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lim, D.S.S., Brady, A.L., Abercromby, A.F., et al., 2011. A historical overview of the pavilion lake research project— analog science and exploration in an underwater environment. GSA Spec. Papers, 483: 85–116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/2011.2483(07)Google Scholar
  21. Mahmoudian, N., Geisbert, J., Woolsey, C., 2010. Approximate analytical turning conditions for underwater gliders: implications for motion control and path planning. IEEE J. Ocean. Eng., 35(1): 131–143. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/JOE.2009.2039655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Peng, S.L., Yang, C.J., Fan, S.S., et al., 2014. Hybrid underwater glider for underwater docking: modeling and performance evaluation. Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 48(6): 112–124. http://dx.doi.org/10.4031/MTSJ.48.6.5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Suberg, L., Wynn, R.B., van der Kooij, J., et al., 2014. Assessing the potential of autonomous submarine gliders for ecosystem monitoring across multiple trophic levels (plankton to cetaceans) and pollutants in shallow shelf seas. J. Meth. Ocean., 10: 70–89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mio.2014.06.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang, C.T., Yu, J.C., Wu, L.H., et al., 2007. Research on movement mechanism simulation and experiment of underwater glider. Ocean Eng., 25(1): 64–69. http://dx.doi.org/10.16483/j.issn.1005-9865.2007.01.010Google Scholar
  25. Wang, L.F., Yang, L.Y., Kong, L.H., et al., 2014. Spatial distribution, source identification and pollution assessment of metal content in the surface sediments of Nansi Lake, China. J. Geochem. Exp., 140: 87–95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gexplo.2014.02.008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wang, Y.H., Zhang, H.W., Wang, S.X., 2009. Trajectory control strategies for the underwater glider. Int. Conf. on Measuring Technology and Mechatronics Automation, p.918–921. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICMTMA.2009.617Google Scholar
  27. Weng, Y., Yang, H., He, J.Y., et al., 2015. Microstructure measurement form an underwater glider: motion analysis and experimental results. OCEANS, p.1–5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/OCEANS-Genova.2015.72714 88Google Scholar
  28. Yang, C.J., Peng, S.L., Fan, S.S., 2014. Performance and stability analysis for ZJU glider. Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 48(3): 88–103. http://dx.doi.org/10.4031/MTSJ.48.3.6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhang, F.T., Zhang, F.M., Tan, X.B., 2014. Tail-enabled spiraling maneuver for gliding robotic fish. J. Dynam. Syst. Meas. Contr., 136(4):041028. http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.4026965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhang, S.W., Yu, J.C., Zhang, A.Q., et al., 2013. Spiraling motion of underwater gliders: modeling, analysis, and experimental results. Ocean Eng., 60: 1–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2012.12.023CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Zhejiang University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-shi Zhu
    • 1
  • Can-jun Yang
    • 1
  • Shi-jun Wu
    • 1
  • Qing Li
    • 1
  • Xiao-le Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.The State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power & Mechatronic SystemsZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations