Rudder roll stabilization for ships

J. van Amerongen, P.G.M. van der Klugt, H.R. van Nauta lemke

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    This paper describes the design of an autopilot for rudder roll stabilization for ships. This autopilot uses the rudder not only for course keeping but also for reduction of the roll. The system has a series of properties which make the controller design far from straightforward: the process has only one input (the rudder angle) and two outputs (the heading and the roll angle); the transfer from rudder to roll is non-minimum-phase; because large and high-frequency rudder motions are necessary, the non-linearities of the steering machine cannot be disregarded; the disturbances caused by the waves vary considerably in amplitude and frequency spectrum. In order to solve these problems a new approach to the LQG method has been developed. The control algorithms were tested by means of computer simulations, scale-model experiments and full-scale trials at sea. The results indicate that a rudder roll stabilization system is able to reduce the roll as well as a conventional fin stabilization system, while it requires less investments. Based on the results obtained in this project the Royal Netherlands Navy has decided to implement rudder roll stabilization on a series of ships under construction at this moment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)679-690
    Number of pages12
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1990


    • Ship control
    • Optimal control
    • Automatic gain control
    • Nonlinear control systems
    • Stabilizers
    • Adaptive control


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