Roll motion compensation by active marine gyrostabiliser
Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) has been gaining more marine applications nowadays. However, the USV is vulnerable to excessive rolling motions induced by water waves, and this phenomenon may cause significant downtime to the operations of USV and engender detrimental effects to the on-board instrument and sensors. Active control system had been proposed to compensate the rolling stability issue but most of the proposed devices were expensive. This paper developed a gyrostabiliser on USV model to compensate the excessive rolling motion. Gyrostabiliser consists of rotor, gimbal and spinning axes, which commonly used for measuring or maintaining orientations and angular velocities. The gyrostabiliser was mounted vertically inside the USV model. Experiments were conducted to obtain the ideal gains of gyrostabiliser’s controller, to investigate the differences between active- and passive-gyrostabiliser, and to identify the induced pitch effect of the vertical gyrostabiliser to the USV model. The roll angle of the USV was measured by gyro sensor, whereas the precession motor and flywheel motor were controlled by a non-encoder Direct-Current (DC) motor. A proportional controller of the gyrostabiliser was implemented through Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to ensure optimal performance of gyrostabiliser in precession speed and direction control. The results showed that both active- and passive-gyrostabiliser managed to mitigate the roll angle of USV from +/- 15° back to less than 1° and reached steady state within 2.32 seconds and 2.60 seconds, respectively. The active gyrostabiliser had advantage to return to zero precession angle while the passive gyrostabiliser accumulated 30° precession angle in the experiment. The induced pitch angle by the gyrostabiliser had been found in an insignificant magnitude for the case study. The outcomes of this paper lead to an alternative for improving the robustness of USV in rolling reduction.
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