A Low-Cost Test Bench for Underwater Thruster Identification

Abdelmalek Laidani, Mohamed Bouhamida, Mustapha Benghanem, Karl Sammut, Benoit Clement

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Underwater vehicles are increasingly being used for the inspection of marine structures, bathymetry and underwater intervention applications. The manoeuvring performance of these vehicles is critically dependant on the quality of the thruster model which must faithfully represent the relationship between the thruster inputs and corresponding outputs. Thruster manufacturers typically provide only the essential electrical, mechanical and thrust performance characteristics, for this reason the identification of the thruster's parameters is especially important for constructing a reliable control system for the underwater vehicle. Physical testing using some form of test bench is normally used for identifying the thruster parameters. These test benches usually consist of a water tank and the thruster which is clamped to some form of instrumented reaction frame for measuring the model parameters. The cost of a test bench varies according to two major factors which are the size and the instrumentation which strongly depends on the physical quantities that we are trying to measure. In this article we will make a state of the art survey of existing test benches in order to provide a technical basis that will allow us to build a low-cost test bench. A thruster will be modelled using the resulting test bench and the outcomes will be presented at the end of this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-259
Number of pages6
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
Event12th IFAC Conference on Control Applications in Marine Systems, Robotics, and Vehicles CAMS 2019 - Daejeon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 18 Sept 201920 Sept 2019


  • System Identification
  • Test Bench
  • Thruster Model


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