Data-driven method for hydrodynamic model estimation applied to an unmanned surface vehicle

Raphaël E.G. Mounet*, Ulrik D. Nielsen, Astrid H. Brodtkorb, Henning Øveraas, Alberto Dallolio, Tor Arne Johansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) are increasingly appealing for gathering metocean data, including directional sea spectra. This paper presents new developments towards estimating the response amplitude operators (RAOs) of surface vehicles equipped with inertial sensors. The novel approach undertakes the data-driven estimation of vehicle models of the wave-induced heave, roll, and pitch motion dynamics, as required to perform subsequent seakeeping computations. Specifically, a genetic algorithm executes the calibration of available closed-form RAOs for a simplified geometry. The algorithm makes a population of model-fitting parameters evolve towards minimising discrepancies between the predicted and measured response spectra in stationary operational conditions. Trust in the model is eventually increased by screening and merging the best-fitting solutions. Resulting response predictions using high-resolution spectral wave data for the AutoNaut USV demonstrate satisfactory accuracy and robustness in heave and pitch but a worse fidelity in roll, thereby motivating follow-up studies to improve the estimation of roll RAOs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMeasurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Genetic algorithm
  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Parameter estimation
  • Response amplitude operator
  • System identification
  • Uncertainty analysis


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