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Title:Collision avoidance systems for maritime autonomous surface ships considering uncertainty in ship dynamics
Authors:Y. Huang, L. Chen, R.R. Negenborn, P.H.A.J.M. van Gelder

Conference:21st IFAC World Congress (IFAC2020)
Address:Berlin, Germany
Date:July 2020

Abstract:Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) for autonomous ships usually assume that a ship's dynamics are completely known in advance. However, precise parameters for ships in different operating conditions are, in fact, uncertain and unknown. The parameter identification of ship dynamics is challenging and time-consuming. Thus, uncertainties in the ship dynamic model are inevitable, which can lead to errors between real trajectories and predicted trajectories. These errors might result in an unexpected collision between ships. Therefore, it is necessary to consider tracking errors in the CAS, which is missing in most existing CAS. This article proposes a way to incorporate the errors in CAS. Specifically, a Velocity Obstacle (VO) algorithm is employed to find collision-free velocities with estimated tracking errors. Firstly, the ship is assumed to be a "black box" whose inputs and outputs are observable, while the internal workings are unknown. Secondly, parameters optimization of a PID controller are employed to determine the best feedback gains for tracking given trajectories; Thirdly, the maximal tracking errors for controlling the ship to arbitrary velocities are estimated. Finally, the maximal error is added to the safety distance and the VO algorithm is employed to find a collision-free solution. The proposed Uncertainty Integrated CAS (UI-CAS) can support the upgrade of existing conventional ships to Type I-III maritime autonomous surface ship.

Reference:Y. Huang, L. Chen, R.R. Negenborn, P.H.A.J.M. van Gelder. Collision avoidance systems for maritime autonomous surface ships considering uncertainty in ship dynamics. Accepted for the 21st IFAC World Congress (IFAC2020), Berlin, Germany, July 2020.
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