Control of coordinated patterns for ocean sampling

F. Zhang, D. M. Fratantoni, D. A. Paley, J. M. Lund, N. E. Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


A class of underwater vehicles are modelled as Newtonian particles for navigation and control. We show a general method that controls cooperative Newtonian particles to generate patterns on closed smooth curves. These patterns are chosen for good sampling performance using mobile sensor networks. We measure the spacing between neighbouring particles by the relative curve phase along the curve. The distance between a particle and the desired curve is measured using an orbit function. The orbit value and the relative curve phase are then used as feedback to control motion of each particle. From an arbitrary initial configuration, the particles converge asymptotically to form an invariant pattern on the desired curves. We describe application of this method to control underwater gliders in a field experiment in Buzzards Bay, MA in March 2006.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1199
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Control
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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