In moderate to high sea states, the effectiveness of ship fin stabilizers can severely deteriorate due to nonlinear effects arising from unsteady hydrodynamic characteristics of the fins: dynamic stall. These nonlinear effects take the form of a hysteresis, and they become very significant when the effective angle of attack of the fins exceeds a certain threshold angle. Dynamic stall can result in a complete loss of control action depending on how much the fins exceed the threshold angle. When this is detected, it is common to reduce the gain of the controller that commands the fins. This approach is cautious and tends to reduce performance when the conditions leading to dynamic stall disappear. An alternative approach for preventing the effects while keeping high performance, consists of estimating the effective angle of attack and set a conservative constraint on it as part of the control objectives. In this paper, we investigate the latter approach, and propose the use of a model predictive control (MPC) to prevent the development of these nonlinear effects by considering constraints on both the mechanical angle of the fins and the effective angle of attack.
Control Engineering Practice Vol. 16, Issue 4, p. 482-494