Planing avoidance control for supercavitating vehicles

David Escobar Sanabria, Gary J. Balas, Roger E.A. Arndt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


Underwater vehicles traveling inside a bubble or supercavity enable the reduction of drag and increase of speed; however, planing forces generated when the vehicle aft end pierces the bubble can lead to oscillatory motion and instability. In this paper, a framework for the synthesis of planing avoidance controllers is presented and the trade-off between tracking performance and planing avoidance is investigated. We propose mathematical models of the supercavity and planing forces, based on experimental data, that are used to construct a nonlinear model of the vehicle dynamics and a simplified version suitable for analysis and controller synthesis. A planing metric, based on the simplified vehicle dynamics, is used within the controller synthesis to avoid planing. Simulations of vehicle maneuvers demonstrate that including planing avoidance as a control objective, reduces planing and increases the bounds of tracking commands for which the vehicle remains stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479932726
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014 - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2014Jun 6 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • Aerospace
  • Flight control
  • Robust control


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