Path following control for towing system of cylindrical drilling platform in presence of disturbances and uncertainties

Jin Tao, Lei Du, Matthias Dehmer, Yuanqiao Wen, Guangming Xie, Quan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Towing is a critical process to deploy a cylindrical drilling platform. However, the towing process faces a great variety of risks from a complex nautical environment, the dynamics in towing and maneuvering, to unexpected events. Therefore, safely navigating the towing system following a planned route to a target sea area is essential. To tackle the time-varying disturbances induced by wind, current and system parametric uncertainties, a path following control method for a towing system of cylindrical drilling platform is designed based on linear active disturbance rejection control. By utilizing Maneuvering Modeling Group model as well as a catenary model, we develop a three degree-of-freedom dynamic mathematical model of the towing system under external environmental disturbances and internal uncertainties. Furthermore, we design a linear active disturbance rejection control path following controller for real-time tracking error correction based on a guidance method combining cross-track error and parallax. Finally, the path following performance of the towing system is evaluated in a simulation environment under various disturbances and internal uncertainties, where the corresponding tracking error is analyzed. The results show that the linear active disturbance rejection control performs well under both the external disturbance and inherent uncertainties, and better satisfy the tracking performance criteria than a traditional proportional–integral–derivative controller.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalISA Transactions
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Cylindrical drilling platform
  • Disturbances and uncertainties
  • Linear active disturbance rejection control
  • Path following control
  • Proportional–integral–derivative
  • Towing system


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