Machines, vol.11, no.2, 2023 (Scopus)
This paper investigates the model-free trajectory tracking control problem for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) subject to the ocean currents, external disturbances, measurement noise, model parameter uncertainty, initial tracking errors, and thruster malfunction. A novel control architecture based on model-free control principles is presented to guarantee stable and precise trajectory tracking performance in the complex underwater environment for AUVs. In the proposed hybrid controller, intelligent-PID (i-PID) and PD feedforward controllers are combined to achieve better disturbance rejections and initial tracking error compensations while keeping the trajectory tracking precision. A mathematical model of an AUV is derived, and ocean current dynamics are included to obtain better fidelity when examining ocean current effects. In order to evaluate the trajectory tracking control performance of the proposed controller, computer simulations are conducted on the LIVA AUV with a compelling trajectory under various disturbances. The results are compared with the two degrees-of-freedom (DOF) i-PID, i-PID, and PID controllers to examine control performance improvements with the guaranteed trajectory tracking stability. The comparative results revealed that the i-PID with PD feedforward controller provides an effective trajectory tracking control performance and excellent disturbance rejections for the entire trajectory of the AUV.