Estimating the longitudinal centre of flotation of a vessel in waves using acceleration measurements

Nana O. Abankwa, James Bowker, Steven J. Johnston, Mark Scott, Simon J. Cox

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Abstract

The location of a vessel's centre of flotation during operation at sea plays an important role in the vessel's longitudinal stability. The ability to accurately estimate the location of the centre of flotation improves safety monitoring as it indicates how changes in the distribution of weight affect the vessel. In this study, we propose a novel method for estimating the longitudinal location of a vessel's centre of flotation in waves using acceleration readings taken simultaneously at different locations along the length of the vessel. Specifically, we recorded accelerations of an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) in a towing tank. The ASV was operated in head and following regular waves, which were kept at a constant wave height of 0.12 m while the wave frequency was increased from 0.5 Hz to 0.8 Hz at increments of 0.1 Hz. The results show that multiple acceleration measurements can be used to correctly determine the centre of flotation of a vessel in waves. In this experiment, the estimated location of the centre of flotation varied as expected based on the longitudinal asymmetry of the ASV and the difference between head and following waves, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed method. In addition, the results were validated using the vessel's recorded pitch motion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8426-8435
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Volume18
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Qualisys
  • accelerometers
  • centre of rotation
  • centre of flotation
  • vessel safety
  • vessel stability
  • RCUK
  • EPSRC
  • 1368760

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