Subsea Engineering

Course — SUBS 6397: Subsea Control Theory

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Usually offered in the Fall Semester.


This course provides an overview of the control theories for subsea systems. It starts with physics-based modeling of subsea systems and uses Laplace transformation to transform the system model into Laplace domain. The course focuses then on the control theories and covers techniques to design controller for the subsea systems followed by stability criteria and robustness analyses tools in frequency and time domain.

The course outcomes include understanding of control tools and theories in frequency and time domain. The students will be able to analyze the system dynamics beforehand and choose a proper control technique to design a control system to meet the desired closed-loop performance.

Topics Covered: 

Introduction to Subsea Systems Modeling and Dynamic Analysis: This part of the course introduces physics-based modeling of subsea systems. Because of multi-domain nature of subsea system, the course will cover different dynamic systems including Electro-Mechanical (Electric Motors), Hydraulic and Thermal Systems. These systems will be analyzed in Laplace domain and in MATLAB environment.

Subsea Control Theory: This part will focus on covering control theories and tools for subsea system control. Designing conventional controllers including lead, lag and lead-lag controllers will be discussed using root locus, Nyquist, Bode, Nichols, and time domain control design techniques. MATLAB will be used to simulate the open-loop and closed-loop response of the system and sensitivity analysis will be performed to check the robustness of the system against disturbance and measurement noise. Moreover, observability analysis will be discussed and observer design techniques will be covered for unmeasurable variables.

Simulation Software Tools: 

Theoretical concepts and design techniques for subsea systems will be reinforced through the simulation in MATLAB. The course instructor will provide the simulation tools throughout the semester.

Course Grading: 

The course grade will be based on homework assignments, quizzes, design project and final exam.


A final design problem will be assigned by the end of September. This problem will allow applying the topics covered in the course to a realistic design problem. Students must work individually on this problem; only course staff can be consulted with questions.