A robust tracking control for an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) system operated in the extreme ocean environment activities is very much needed due to its external disturbances potentially disturb the stability of the system. This research proposes a new robust-region based controller which integrates Super Twisting Sliding Mode Control (STSMC) with region boundary approach in the presence of determined disturbances. STSMC is a second order SMC which combines between continuous signal and discontinuous signal to produce a robust system. By incorporating region based control into STSMC, the desired trajectory defined as a region produces an energy saving control compared to conventional point based control. Energy function of region error is applied on the AUV to maintain inside the desired region during tracking mission, thus, minimizing the energy usage. Analysis on a Lyapunov candidate proved that the proposed control achieved a global asymptotic stability and showed less chattering, providing 20s faster response time to handle perturbations, less transient of thrusters' propulsion and ability to save 50% of energy consumption compared to conventional SMC, Fuzzy SMC and STSMC. Overall, the newly developed controller contributed to a new robust, stable and energy saving controller for an AUV in the presence of external disturbances.
Part of the book: Recent Developments in Sliding Mode Control