One novel nonlinear guidance law forguiding autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to track desired waypointsin three-dimensional (3D) space with a nonlinear proportional derivative (PD) control structure is developed in this investigation. This approach can be applied to generate optimal control commands for AUVs operating in ocean environment. The design objective of this investigation is to develop a nonlinear guidance law, which guarantees the stability and convergence of tracking errors in positions and attitudes with respect to the highly coupled AUV's dynamics and kinematics. In general, it is really a difficult mission to treat this nonlinear waypoint-tracking problem of AUVs due to the high nonlinearity and the time-varying property of the controlled AUV'sdynamics. Fortunately, because of the coordinate transformation and selection of the control gain, the mentioned nonlinear waypoint-tracking problem of AUVs can be effectively solved, and apromising waypoint tracking capability can be obtained for AUVs.
Journal of the Chinese Society of Mechanical Engineers