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An Attractor/Repellor Approach to Autonomous Sailboat Navigation


This paper proposes an alternative navigation method which avoids the use of traditional waypoints and cross-track error, by utilising an array of waypoint attractors and repellors of different strengths and polarities. A range of possible headings either side of the bearing to the waypoint are considered, and the velocity-made good on each heading is computed. The heading with the optimal VMG is chosen. Attractors are waypoints which have a positive effect on the route (like traditional waypoints) and repellors are waypoints which have a negative or repelling effect on the heading.


  • Cross-track Error
  • Apparent Wind Angle
  • Current Waypoint
  • Winding Angle
  • Robotic Sailboat

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-72739-4_6
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Correspondence to Dermot Tynan .

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Tynan, D. (2018). An Attractor/Repellor Approach to Autonomous Sailboat Navigation. In: Øvergård, K. (eds) Robotic Sailing 2017. Springer, Cham.

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