Fractional-order sliding mode control synthesis of supercavitating underwater vehicles

Bui Duc Hong Phuc, Viet Duc Phung, Sam Sang You, Ton Duc Do

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A high-speed supercavitating vehicle is a future underwater vehicle which exploits the supercavitating propulsion technology providing a promising way to increase the vehicle speed. Robust control challenges include complex vehicle maneuvering dynamics caused by factors such as undesired switching, delayed state dependency, and nonlinearities. As effective and applicable controllers, a novel fractional-order sliding mode controller is proposed to robustly control the uncertain high-speed supercavitating vehicle system against external disturbances. The control scheme uses sliding mode control and can produce better control actions than conventional the integer-order counterpart. In this algorithm, the fractional calculus is applied to calculate the noninteger integral or derivative in the sliding mode control algorithm, providing new capabilities for uncertain high-speed supercavitating vehicle control in seeking to operate the underwater vehicle better. The performance of the proposed fractional-order sliding mode controller has been proven through analytic simulation results, which show fast responses with smooth control actions and the ability to deal with nonlinear planing force and external disturbance. One of the interesting features of the fractional-order control system is the time convergence rate of the sliding variable vector, which is greatly improved compared with the integer-order sliding mode control. Finally, the robust control system with a novel fractional-order sliding mode controller algorithm, using high flexibility of controlling undersea vehicles, can provide superior dynamical performance with stability compared with its integer-order counterpart against system uncertainties and disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1909-1919
Number of pages11
JournalJVC/Journal of Vibration and Control
Issue number21-22
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • disturbance
  • dive plane
  • Fractional order calculus
  • planing force
  • sliding mode control
  • supercavitating vehicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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