In order to validate relevant dynamic positioning (DP) control algorithms in a realistic environment, a full-scale DP test campaign, the AMOS DP Research Cruise 2016 (ADPRC’16), was organized in a collaboration between the NTNU Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (NTNU AMOS) and the company Kongsberg Maritime onboard the research vessel (R/V) Gunnerus. To the authors’ best knowledge, closed-loop DP feedback control algorithms have never been tested full-scale on a ship in an academic research experiment before. However, we have now achieved this by coding our algorithms into a test-module of the DP system, as prepared by Kongsberg Maritime. Among the tested algorithms is an output feedback control law with both good transient and steady-state performance. In another experiment, different adaptive backstepping control laws for DP were tested to compare and contrast their performance and properties. A hybrid state observer with a performance monitoring function proposed to switch between two observers, choosing the best one at any time instant, was also part of the test scope. For this, necessary measurements (including acceleration measurements) were logged to be able to rerun and validate the observer algorithms in post-processing. Finally, several experiments were done to test a pseudo-derivative feedback control law for DP. The feedback mechanism was tested with and without a feedforward disturbance rejection term, called acceleration feedforward. This paper reports the experimental setup, test program, and an overview of results from the ADPRC’16 campaign.

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