Coordinated Trajectory-Tracking Control of a Marine Aerial-Surface Heterogeneous System

Ning Wang, Choon Ki Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, for a marine aerial-surface heterogeneous (MASH) system composed by a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) with heterogeneity, completely unknown dynamics and disturbances, the accurate trajectory-tracking problem is solved by creating a novel coordinated trajectory-tracking control (CTTC) scheme. A family of coordinate transformations are devised to convert the MASH system tracking error dynamics into translation-rotation cascade manners, whereby the heterogeneity is removed and finite-time observers for complex unknowns are facilitated. In conjunction with sliding mode based rotation error dynamics, distributed tracking controllers for the quadrotor UAV and the USV are independently synthesized such that cascade tracking error dynamics are globally asymptotically stable. With the aid of cascade and Lyapunov analysis, the entire CTTC solution to the accurate trajectory-tracking problem of the MASH system is eventually put forward. Simulation results and comprehensive comparisons on a prototype MASH system demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed CTTC scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3198-3210
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.


  • Accurate trajectory tracking
  • coordinated trajectory-tracking control (CTTC)
  • finite-time observer
  • marine aerial-surface heterogeneous (MASH) system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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