TMR4243 - Marine Control Systems II


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
work 25/100
Home Exam 50/100 A
work 25/100

Course content

The course will cover mathematical designs of robust and nonlinear model-based control laws and observer algorithms applicable to automatic control of ships, underwater vehicles, marine structures, machinery and propulsion systems, and other marine applications.

The overall course will be based on lectures, theory and simulation assignments, and a period with practical marine laboratory exercises.

The course consists of lectures on nonlinear systems theory and nonlinear robust control and observer designs, such as:
1) Stability theory for nonlinear systems.
2) Observer and estimation theory, persistency of excitation, observability, etc.
3) Observer designs (linear and nonlinear observers, separation principle).
4) Robust nonlinear control methods (backstepping methods, nonlinear PID and integral control, ISS designs, etc.).
5) Dynamic Positioning (DP) control system algorithms for thrust allocation, positioning control, and DP observer designs.
6) Maneuvering control theory and path-following control designs for marine vessels (path parameterization, path generation, guidance theories, and feedback control laws).
7) Adaptive control designs for nonlinear systems (direct/indirect adaptive control, persistency of excitation, adaptive backstepping, etc.).

Learning outcome

At the end of the course, the student shall be able to:
- Describe conditions for existence, uniqueness, and completeness of solutions of time-invariant (autonomous) and time-varying (nonautonomous) ordinary differential equations.
- Characterize local, global, uniform, and asymptotic stability properties of nonlinear systems in the sense of Lyapunov and related theorems.
- Discuss the most common types of control objectives, define the concept of a control Lyapunov function (CLF), and apply a CLF-based methodology to design a control law according to a defined problem statement.
- Relate bounded perturbations to input-to-state stability (ISS) of the nonlinear system and convert this into equivalent conditions for the Lyapunov equations.
- Explain the difference between minimum phase and non-minimum phase systems, what zero dynamics is, and calculate the relative degree of nonlinear systems.
- Explain the concept of uniform complete observability, demonstrate how to design a Luenberger observer for a linear system, and explain the separation principle.
- Demonstrate how to design (nonlinear) state observers to fuse and filter measurements and reconstruct unmeasured states, e.g. the velocity state of a marine vehicle.
-Demonstrate how to design control laws based on feedback linearization, backstepping, and robust nonlinear control laws with integral action.
- Explain the difference between direct adaptive control and indirect adaptive control and understand the equivalence between observability and persistency of excitation in order to achieve convergence of adaptive parameter estimates. Demonstrate how to design an adaptive control law based on backstepping.
- Formulate a control objective as a maneuvering problem and design a corresponding maneuvering control law.
- Use basic nonlinear control theory and relevant control design and observer design method(s) to design, implement, and test a Dynamic Positioning control system for a model ship, including a DP observer, thrust allocation, DP control law, and a guidance functionality.
- To carry out laboratory work in teams, solve practical marine control problems, and to write up the results in a report with a clear and concise exposition of results, critical analysis, and conclusions.
- Maintain personal integrity by conducting academic studies and written works in an honest and ethical manner, without any sort of plagiarism and misconduct in work assignments and projects.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and several practical marine laboratory exercises, which form the basis for a project report.

The course will include several practical exercises and laboratory sessions on Dynamic Positioning, as a control system case study, in the Marine Cybernetics Lab (MC-Lab) using a model ship – we call it the DP-Lab. The students will work on these lab setups to gain hands-on experience with practical implementation of control algorithms. The lab work shall result in a project report that counts for the final grade in addition to the exam.

Further on evaluation

Portfolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portfolio includes a final written exam (60%) and lab work and project report (40%). The results for the parts are given in %-scores, while the entire portfolio is assigned a letter grade.
Postponed/repeated exams may be oral.
For a re-take of an examination, all assessments during the course must be re-taken.

Required previous knowledge

TTK4105 Control Engineering and TMR4240 Marine Control Systems I (or similar) are required prerequisites.

Course materials

- Khalil, H. K. (2015). Nonlinear Control – Global edition, Pearson Education Ltd, England.
- Skjetne, R. (2005). The Maneuvering Problem, NTNU Ph.D. thesis 2005:1, Dept. engineering cybernetics.

Optional supporting textbook:
- Lavretsky, E. and K. A. Wise (2013). Robust and Adaptive Control (With Aerospace Applications). Springer-Verlag, London, 2013. A few selected chapters to be agreed upon. (Available as e-book).

Lecure notes and selected articles.

More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Marine Cybernetics
  • Marine Engineering
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Marine Technology


Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Spring ORD work 25/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD work 25/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Home Exam 50/100 A





Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS work 25/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS work 25/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Home Exam 50/100 A INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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