Journal Paper

A Comparative Study of Different Active Heave Compensation Approaches

Shrenik Zinage and Abhilash Somayajula


Heave compensation is a vital part of various marine and offshore operations. It is used in various applications, including the transfer of cargo between two vessels in the open ocean, installation of topsides of an offshore structure, offshore drilling and for surveillance, reconnaissance and monitoring. These applications typically involve a load suspended from a hydraulically powered winch that is connected to a vessel that is undergoing dynamic motion in the ocean environment. The goal in these applications is to design a winch controller to keep the load at a regulated height by rejecting the net heave motion of the winch arising from ship motions at sea. In this study we analyze and compare the performance of various control algorithms in stabilizing a suspended load while the vessel is subjected to changing sea conditions. The KCS container ship is chosen as the vessel undergoing dynamic motion in the ocean. The negative of the net heave motion at the winch is provided as a reference signal to track. Various control strategies like Proportional-Derivative (PD) Control, Model Predictive Control (MPC), Linear Quadratic Integral Control (LQI), and Sliding Mode Control (SMC) are implemented and tuned for effective heave compensation. The performance of the controllers is compared with respect to heave compensation, disturbance rejection, and noise attenuation.

Keywords: Active heave compensation; Winch control; PD; MPC; LQI; SMC

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