Sliding mode controller for trajectory tracking of a surface vessel is designed based on a 3DOF dynamic model. The model has six unknown parameters. For parameter identification, four special test scenarios are defined to isolate and identify one of the six parameters at a time. The identification tests are performed on a robotic boat which has an onboard PC104 computer and a navigation sensor providing vessel’s dynamic states in real-time. The data from experiments are used to determine the model parameters. A sliding mode controller is designed based on the identified model, and is implemented and tested on a real robotic boat. The experiments show the excellent performance of the controller.

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