Open Access

The practical aspects of implementation of the thrust allocation procedure for a multi-propulsor underwater robot


This article addresses the practical aspects of the synthesis of an automatic control system for the thrust allocation strategy in the propulsion system of an unmanned underwater vehicle. The vehicle under consideration is a robot submarine equipped with a multi-propulsion system providing four degrees of freedom of movement. The power distribution algorithms are based on limited optimisation methods that allow the determination, on the basis of generalised torques and forces, of how much thrust is required to be produced by individual propulsors. Considering the issue of power distribution as a task of square and linear programming, two algorithms of thrust allocation were proposed and compared. The conducted model tests made it possible to evaluate their quality and efficiency in relation to speed and computational complexity.