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Modeling and Simulation of an Autonomous Sailing Boat


S. Hessberger

Bachelor Thesis, FS14 (10336)

The object of this bachelor thesis is the modeling and simulation of a sailing boat. As part of the Autonomous Sailing Project at the Automatic Control Laboratory of ETH Zurich, the aim is to derive an extensive model of a sailboat including all 6 DoF, serving as a bench mark model to examine future control laws. First, the kinematics are derived and the forces acting on the boat are modeled. With the expression of the boat’s total kinetic energy including added mass terms, the equations of motion are derived using Lagrange’s equation of 2nd order. In order to capture the dynamics of the jib and main sail, a simple decoupled model is introduced. Derived in MATHEMATICA, the left-hand sides of the equations of motion, combined with the derived forces, are implemented in MATLAB. Using a P controller to steer the boat, common sailing positions are simulated and the derived model is examined further by step inputs.


Type of Publication:

(13)Semester/Bachelor Thesis

M. Colombino

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@PhdThesis { Xxx:2014:IFA_4789
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