Main specialisation

2. Marine cybernetics

Illustrasjonsbilde/FOTOThis profile combines theoretical and practical understanding of the discipline control engineering, focusing on how other relevant disciplines may be mathematically modelled. Graduates are thus able to develop advanced, automated regulating and monitoring systems for a number of different purposes in offshore operations, ships engineering, and the aquaculture industry. Example arenas for application:

  • marine operations
  • production, distribution and use of mechanical and electrical energy
  • propulsion
  • motion suppression of ships and speed boats
  • navigation; control and manoeuvring of ships, offshore constructions, and sub-sea vessels

Keywords: Control and manoeuvring of ships and offshore constructions, electrical power generation and distribution, subsea robotics.

Learning knowledge and skills of Marine cybernetics

Marine cybernetics is the study of how marine and maritime dynamical systems can be automatically controlled in order to make them behave according to a control objective in their environment of operation. To be able to develop technological control systems, it is necessary to gain a thorough understanding of the physical process, knowledge of modeling and analysis, skills to design feedback control loops, and skills to implement a monitoring and control system.


After completed study the student shall have knowledge on:

  • Mathematical models and modeling of physical marine and maritime systems, described by differential and algebraic equations and represented by state-space models, transfer functions, or hybrid characterizations, and use of simulation models as tools for analysis and problem solving.
  • The mean and slowly-varying motions of displacement ships and offshore structures in waves, wind, and currents during sea-keeping and station-keeping operations, and how these motions can be manipulated by control actions from thrusters and rudders.
  • How to characterize stability and performance in closed-loop feedback systems, including knowledge of important terms such as linear vs. nonlinear systems, linearization, eigenvalues, Laplace transform, model reduction, time response, frequency response, block diagrams, Bode plots, feedback and feed-forward control loops, observers and Kalman filters, LQR/LQG control designs, and linear and nonlinear control laws.
  • Understanding the fundamental topology and architecture of marine control systems, from low-level control of motors and propellers to high-level control and optimization of the marine operations subject to regulatory requirements and user needs.
  • How to specify and develop a computer hardware architecture and software programs for implementation of simulators, controllers, and monitoring systems.
  • Understanding faults and consequences of failures in marine control systems, linking this to safety requirements from class societies and authorities, design of redundancy and fault-tolerance for improved robustness, and corresponding methods for testing, verification, and certification of fault-detection and failure-handling functions in marine control systems.
  • How to utilize the control system to improve and optimize the environmental performance of the marine system with respect to energy consumption, emissions, and pollution, while at the same time enabling profitable operations within acceptable safety levels.


After completed study the student shall have the skills to:

  • Develop physical process and control models for a marine application under study, carry out simulations and analyses for evaluation of the dynamic properties of the process models, analyze control issues, design and synthesize control laws and estimator algorithms for the marine application, tune controller parameters, and analyze the resulting stability and performance properties of the closed-loop system.
  • Utilize modern modeling and simulation software such as Matlab/Simulink, LabVIEW, and 20-Sim for modeling, simulation, and analysis of dynamic systems.
  • Design and implement a (simple) control system for a marine application using a suitable real-time hardware and software platform, including low-level and high-level control loops and human-machine-interfaces.
  • Be able to independently carry out small development projects and contribute actively in larger team-work projects.
  • Write papers and reports on the analysis, design, implementation, and testing of marine control systems.

General competence

  • As for the study program.


Degree: Master of Science
Duration: 2 years, 120 ECTS
Programme code: MSN1
Number of students admitted: 15
Language of instruction: English
Location: Trondheim, Tyholt

Host Faculty:
Faculty of Engineering

Host Department:
Marine Technology

Validity of information: 2016/2017

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