In the paper, an autopilot system composed of sliding mode controller and line-of-sight guidance technique are adopted to navigate the ship in random waves by altering the rudder deflection. Two kinds of sliding mode controller are considered; one is the separate system including sway-yaw control and roll control, the other is the compact system considering sway-roll-yaw control altogether. Both track keeping and roll reduction are accomplished by rudder control and the design parameters of controller are optimized by genetic algorithm. The present simulation results show both the separate controller and the compact controller work quite well, either for track keeping or roll reduction while the ship is sailing in random waves. However, the separate controller is recommended due to its simplicity.
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