Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 153-168

Biology-Inspired Robust Dive Plane Control of Non-Linear AUV Using Pectoral-Like Fins

Subramanian Ramasamy and Sahjendra N. Singh

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nevada Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV, USA

Received 4 February 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The development of a control system for the dive plane control of non-linear biorobotic autonomous underwater vehicles, equipped with pectoral-like fins, is the subject of this paper. Marine animals use pectoral fins for swimming smoothly. The fins are assumed to be oscillating with a combined pitch and heave motion and therefore produce unsteady control forces. The objective is to control the depth of the vehicle. The mean angle of pitch motion of the fin is used as a control variable. A computational-fluid-dynamics-based parameterisation of the fin forces is used for control system design. A robust servo regulator for the control of the depth of the vehicle, based on the non-linear internal model principle, is derived. For the control law derivation, an exosystem of third order is introduced, and the non-linear time-varying biorobotic autonomous underwater vehicle model, including the fin forces, is represented as a non-linear autonomous system in an extended state space. The control system includes the internal model of a k-fold exosystem, where k is a positive integer chosen by the designer. It is shown that in the closed-loop system, all the harmonic components of order up to k of the tracking error are suppressed. Simulation results are presented which show that the servo regulator accomplishes accurate depth control despite uncertainties in the model parameters.