Guidance and Control of Marine Vehicles

Course Description

Introduction - historical overview. Ship automation. Ship systems (navigation, cargo, propulsion, etc.) Marine vehicles kinematics. Dynamics of marine vessels. Rigid-body dynamics. Mathematical models of various marine vehicles. Maneuvering theory. Navigation, guidance, control. Trajectory tracking & maneuvering control. Ship autopilots. Control allocation. Guidance and control systems for underwater vehicles.

General Competencies

Students will learn about systems that are today used for automation onboard marine vehicles. Especially guidance and control systems.

Learning Outcomes

  1. define automatic systems on ships
  2. explain the principles of ship navigation, guidance and control
  3. analyze mathematical models of vessels
  4. explain basic hydrodynamics and external disturbances that act on vessels on
  5. distinguish unmanned underwater vehicles and their application
  6. identify problems in the Adriatic sea
  7. design controllers for vessels

Forms of Teaching


Two hours of lectures per week.


Planned with students.


Seminar 1: control design on a simulator Seminar 2: control implementation on a vessel model

Internship visits

At the start of the semester a visit to one of the following institutions will be defined: Brodarski Institute, Hydrographic Institute, shipyard (Uljanik, 2. Maj, Viktor Lenac), Oceanographic Institute Split, Ruđer Bošković Institute.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Seminar/Project 0 % 40 % 0 % 40 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 10 % 0 %
Final Exam: Oral 50 %
Exam: Oral 60 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Introduction – historical overview. Ship automation.
  2. Elementary hydrodynamics for control
  3. Kinematics and dynamics of marine vessels
  4. Rigid-body dynamics
  5. Maneuvering theory (zero frequency)
  6. Environmental disturbances
  7. Guidance systems
  8. Estimator based navigation
  9. Optimal control for marine vehicles
  10. Feedback linearization
  11. Control allocation
  12. Autopilot design
  13. Rudder-roll damping
  14. Trajectory tracking & maneuvering control
  15. Dynamic positioning systems

Study Programmes

University graduate
[FER2-HR] Control Engineering and Automation - profile
Recommended elective courses (3. semester)


Thor I. Fossen (2002.), Marine Control Systems: Guidance, Navigation and Control of Ships, Rigs and Underwater Vehicles, Marine Cybernetics AS
Z. Vukić (1989.), Sinteza adaptivnog sistema vođenja transportnih brodova, FER
N. Mišković (2010.), Use of self-oscillations in guidance and control of marine vessels, FER
Asgeir J. Sørensen (2005.), Marine Cybernetics - Modelling and Control (Lecture Notes), Department of Marine Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

For students


ID 34380
  Winter semester
L3 English Level
L1 e-Learning

Grading System

87.5 Excellent
75 Very Good
62.5 Good
50 Acceptable