A lumped parameter model of open-frame unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV's) including the effects of propeller-hull and propeller-propeller interactions is presented. The identification of the model parameters consists of a least squares method using only on-board sensor data without requiring any towing tank tests. The identification scheme is based on separate tests for the estimation of drag and thruster installation coefficients, taking into account propeller-hull and propeller-propeller effects first and inertia parameters subsequently. The scheme has been experimentally implemented on ROMEO, the latest UUV developed by CNR-IAN. Experimental results show both the effectiveness of the proposed method and the relevance of the propeller-hull and propeller-propeller interactions that are usually neglected in standard UUV models.
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