Advancements in instrumentation and control systems for model testing are often driven by new and sometimes very demanding test program requirements. Ever-improving wireless communications, miniaturized power electronics and computer systems and software have made it possible to achieve control and instrumentation objectives that were not practical in model test programs of a decade ago. This paper describes a model autopilot system that was developed last year at the Institute for Ocean Technology, having significant advantages over earlier systems. The autopilot and the heading sensor are not on the model, allowing very small model vessels with low power consumption to be controlled. The system also incorporates a Kalman filter to provide smooth position updates and a reduction of first-order wave disturbance in the rudder command signal.

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