Roll Control of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Using an Internal Rolling Mass

  • Eng You Hong
  • Mandar Chitre
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 105)


A stable autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is essential for underwater survey activities. Previous studies have associated poor results in bathymetry survey and side-scan imaging with the vehicle’s unwanted roll motion. The problem is becoming more prominent as AUVs are smaller nowadays. This causes reduction in the metacentric height of the AUVs which affects the inherent self-stabilization in the roll-axis. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of an internal rolling mass (IRM) mechanism to actively stabilize the roll motion of an AUV. We rotate the whole electronics tray, which has an off-centric center of gravity, to produce the required torque to stabilize the rollmotion. Themechanical design of such mechanism and its dynamics modeling are discussed in detail. A Proportional-Integral (PI) controller is synthesized using the identified linear model. Results from tank tests and open-field tests demonstrate the effectiveness of the mechanism in regulating the roll motion of the AUV.


Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Roll Motion Roll Control Tank Test Roll Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alvarez, A., Caffaz, A., Caiti, A., Casalino, G., Gualdesi, L., Turetta, A., Viviani, R.: Folaga: a low-cost autonomous underwater vehicle combining glider and auv capabilities. Ocean Engineering 36(1), 24–38 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fossen, T.: Guidance and control of ocean vehicles, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kirkwood, W., Anderson, W.R., Kitts, C.: Fault tolerant actuation for dorado class, auvs. Instrumentation Viewpoint (8), 40–41 (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Koay, T., Tan, Y., Eng, Y., Gao, R., Chitre, M., Chew, J., Chandhavarkar, N., Khan, R., Taher, T., Koh, J.: Starfish–a small team of autonomous robotic fish. IJMS 40, 157–167 (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Leonard, N., Graver, J.: Model-based feedback control of autonomous underwater gliders. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering 26(4), 633–645 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McEwen, R., Streitlien, K.: Modeling and control of a variable-length auv. In: Proc. 12th UUST (2001)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Petrich, J., Stilwell, D.: Robust control for an autonomous underwater vehicle that suppresses pitch and yaw coupling. Ocean Engineering (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Prestero, T.: Verification of a six-degree of freedom simulation model for the remus autonomous underwater vehicle. Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (2001)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Singh, H., Whitcomb, L., Yoerger, D., Pizarro, O.: Microbathymetric mapping from underwater vehicles in the deep ocean. Computer Vision and Image Understanding 79(1), 143–161 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Woock, P.: Deep-sea seafloor shape reconstruction from side-scan sonar data for auv navigation. In: 2011 IEEE OCEANS, pp. 1–7. IEEE, Spain (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Woolsey, C., Leonard, N.: Moving mass control for underwater vehicles. In: Proceedings of the 2002 American Control Conference, vol. 4, pp. 2824–2829. IEEE (2002)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARL, Tropical Marine Science InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and ARL, Tropical Marine Science InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations