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Journal of Control Science and Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 402017, 13 pages
Research Article

On Motion Planning for Point-to-Point Maneuvers for a Class of Sailing Vehicles

Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Alsion 2, 6400 Sønderborg, Denmark

Received 21 April 2011; Revised 5 July 2011; Accepted 18 July 2011

Academic Editor: Onur Toker

Copyright © 2011 Lin Xiao and Jerome Jouffroy. 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.


Despite their interesting dynamic and controllability properties, sailing vehicles have not been much studied in the control community. In this paper, we investigate motion planning of such vehicles. Starting from a simple dynamic model of sailing vessels in one dimension, this paper first considers their associated controllability issues, with the so-called no-sailing zone as a starting point, and it links them with a motion planning strategy using two-point boundary value problems as the main mathematical tool. This perspective is then expanded to do point-to-point maneuvers of sailing vehicles in the plane, that is, automatic path generation combined with computation of control input profiles. Simulations are presented to illustrate the potential of the approach.