In this paper, guidance method for docking of an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) is proposed. In most of the case, surface vehicles without side thruster are under-actuated system, and thus it has nonholonomic motion constraints. Therefore, there is undockable region where USV cannot dock to docking station without making collision or backward motion. A vector field based guidance method was suggested to avoid ASV to enter this region. Suggested guidance method was compared to conventional pursuit based guidance law such as pure pursuit guidance and pure/lead pursuit guidance. Monte-Carlo simulation was performed in order to validate performance of the proposed method.


In recent years, USV(Unmanned Surface Vehicle) is actively researched due to increasing demand from both military and civilian area. USV have comparative advantage over conventional manned-based system in that it can increase human safety and minimize human interference. In order to ensure stability and effectiveness of USV system, USV should perceive nearby environment and make decision on its own. However, in some of the mission such as docking, USV is often remotely controlled by operator, due to immaturity of autonomous technology. In this paper, a new guidance method for docking of an USV is suggested, and purpose of it is to increase degree of autonomy of an USV so that human interference can be eliminated or minimized.

In this study, we have defined research object as forward-direction docking to stationary docking station. Figure 1 shows example of forward direction docking of an USV. Docking station's position, direction, and geometry are assumed to be known, and based on this information, guidance command is generated.

Previously, research about docking of USV have been focused on docking between USV and Autonomous Underwater Vehicle(AUV) or between USV and mother ship.

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