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Twelve thrusters Actuators need to provide the mAUV with the ability for fast sailing, as well as making it possible to inspect an object from all possible positions. This resulted in a set of four stern thrusters for the main propulsion. Low speed manoeuvring and vehicle control is achieved with four horizontal tunnel thrusters and four vertical tunnel thrusters. In addition to these thrusters a set of ballast tanks are used for trimming, and a longitudinally moving weight can be used for fast diving. A quaternion-based control algorithm, in combination with an allocation algorithm, has been developed to steer all these degrees of freedom during fast sailing and hovering. Uncertainty has been explicitly included in this design so that the control performance can increase when we learn more about the dynamic behaviour of the system. Until then, it will operate with lower performance, but it is guaranteed to be stable when facing unknown (model) dynamics.


The mAUV has recently been assembled and integration tests have been performed.


Subsequently, the mAUV has been tested in the Seakeeping and Manoeuvring Basin to examine the limits of its performance. The results of the basin tests will be used to improve its digital twin. These experiments will already teach us what the interaction between the system, the control and the environment will be.


Practical use cases for vehicles like mAUV may include both military and civilian operations. It could be deployed for the inspection of harbour walls, detection and inspection of sea mines, or act as a sea-based communication system. These scenarios will be tested in more detail in future model test campaigns.


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