A bézier curve based ship trajectory optimization for close-range maritime operations
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Ship maneuvering in close-range maritime operations is challenging for pilots, since they have to not only prevent the ship from collisions and compensate environmental impacts, but also steer it close to the target towards a proper heading. This paper presents a path planner to assist the pilots to foresee the optimal trajectory in the scenario. The path planning is formatted as an optimizing problem to minimize the turning variation fluctuation and the fuel consumption of the ship through ocean current while satisfying the constraint of orientations at the start and the end positions. Taking advantages of Bézier curves’ smoothness and adjustability, feasible trajectories are divided into two categories based on the location of the intersection between the start and end directions, and are designed as a set of parameterized Bézier curves. The variables in the Bézier curves become the state space. By searching the space using an evolutionary technique, the candidate of the Bézier curve that has the best turning and the minimized fuel consumption can be obtained. Through two case studies, the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed planner is verified.