National Nature ScienceFoundation of China [grant number 61273137], [grant number51209026]
; the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation [grantnumber 2015M570247]
; the Scientific Research Fund of LiaoningProvincial Education Department [grant number L2013202]
; and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities[grant number 3132015021], [grant number 3132014321].
This paper addresses the cooperative path-following problem of multiple marine surface vehicles subject to dynamical uncertainties and ocean disturbances induced by unknown wind, wave and ocean current. The control design falls neatly into two parts. One is to steer individual marine surface vehicle to track a predefined path and the other is to synchronise the along-path speed and path variables under the constraints of an underlying communication network. Within these two formulations, a robust adaptive path-following controller is first designed for individual vehicles based on backstepping and neural network techniques. Then, a decentralised synchronisation control law is derived by means of consensus on along-path speed and path variables based on graph theory. The distinct feature of this design lies in that synchronised path following can be reached for any undirected connected communication graphs without accurate knowledge of the model. This result is further extended to the output feedback case, where an observer-based cooperative path-following controller is developed without measuring the velocity of each vehicle. For both designs, rigorous theoretical analysis demonstrate that all signals in the closed-loop system are semi-global uniformly ultimately bounded. Simulation results validate the performance and robustness improvement of the proposed strategy.