Table of Contents
International Journal of Quality, Statistics, and Reliability
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 670340, 10 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Parameter Sensitivity Using Robust Design Techniques for a Flatfish Type Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

1Department of Engineering Design, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India
2A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, MAERSK LINE, Prince Infocity, 11th Floor 286/1, Old Mahabalipuram Road, Kottivakkam-Kandanchavadi, Chennai 600096, India

Received 6 July 2009; Accepted 27 October 2009

Academic Editor: Suk joo Bae

Copyright © 2009 M. Santhakumar et al. 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.


Hydrodynamic parameters play a major role in the dynamics and control of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). The performance of an AUV is dependent on the parameter variations and a proper understanding of these parametric influences is essential for the design, modeling, and control of high-performance AUVs. In this paper, the sensitivity of hydrodynamic parameters on the control of a flatfish type AUV is analyzed using robust design techniques such as Taguchi's design method and statistical analysis tools such as Pareto-ANOVA. Since the pitch angle of an AUV is one of the crucial variables in the control applications, the sensitivity analysis of pitch angle variation is studied here. Eight prominent hydrodynamic coefficients are considered in the analysis. The results show that there are two critical hydrodynamic parameters, that is, hydrodynamic force and hydrodynamic pitching moment in the heave direction that influence the performance of a flatfish type AUV. A near-optimal combination of the parameters was identified and the simulation results have shown the effectiveness of the method in reducing the pitch error. These findings are significant for the design modifications as well as controller design of AUVs.