University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Supercavitating Vehicle Control

Our research group focuses on developing experimental and analytical tools for supercavitating vehicle control.

Experimental Facilities for Control Validation

Our research platform allows us to validate mathematical models and control strategies for an underwater supercavitating vehicle in the high-speed water tunnel at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. A small scale vehicle, free to pitch in the tunnel, is used for hydrodynamic testing and control validation. The test vehicle consists of a cylindrical body, an actuated disk cavitator, and two actuated lateral fins. Forces and attack angle measurements are used to control the vehicle dynamics in real-time. An Example of a control strategy tested in our facilities is below.

High-Performance Robust Controller

Controller designed to track attack angle commands using both cavitator and fin deflections. The controller is robust to nonlinear/uncertain planing forces arising when the vehicle back-end pierces the supercavity. Stability and performance are formally proved and experimentally validated

Supercavity Model

Low-order model of the supercavity dynamics

Supercavity Formation

Ventilated supercavity formation in high-speed water tunnel at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory