Formation Path Following Control of Underactuated USVs
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This paper proposes a formation control method for two underactuated unmanned surface vessels (USVs) to follow curved paths in the presence of ocean currents. By uniting a line-of-sight (LOS) guidance law and the null-space-based behavioral control (NSB) framework, we achieve curved path following of the barycenter, while maintaining the desired vessel formation. The closed-loop dynamics are investigated using cascaded systems theory, and it is shown that the closed-loop system is USGES and UGAS, while the underactuated sway dynamics remain bounded. Simulations show that the barycenter task errors converge to zero, validating the theoretical results, while a small cross-track error is observed in the experiments.