This paper describes the experimental development of a thruster dynamics model for a thruster from the Saab Seaeye Falcon Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) – a small observation class ROV. The thruster dynamics model used in this work is built from a previously published semi-empirical framework that divides the thruster operating conditions into three states: equi-directional, anti-directional and vague-directional. These three states are distinguished by the orientation of the water velocity in the vicinity of the propeller. In the current work, a sensor apparatus was constructed to measure thrust force across all three states to facilitate thruster model parameter identification. The experimental setup, the quality of the data collected and the accuracy of the thruster model are presented. The results show the predicted thrust force to be within 5N across the three states, and often within 2N. A brief summary of on-going work to implement the dynamics model in a low-level thruster controller is also provided.

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