This paper considers the problem of installing offshore pipelines by means of pipelay vessels from a control perspective. Specifically, the paper is divided into two main parts, where the first part gives a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of pipelay operations and the challenges and possibilities associated with such operations. The second part then suggests how pipelay operations can be further automated by augmenting the manually-operated dynamic positioning (DP) systems of today with sophisticated guidance functionality that may improve operational precision and safety by relying on advance mathematical models.

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