I want to use arduino to control my sailboat. I just need to have it command an electric motor connected to the main rudder. I have a motor but it is too big (1.5HP) but it works! just lots of startup current. I have relays controlling much bigger relays. Even still arduino cant drive relays directly!
Anyway, I am mostly interested in your idea for a control loop for a sailboat to hold course. The guys in the sky have it easy for this, there are no waves. For us on boats, I would like your 1 meter boat to be capable of ocean crossing with most efficient sailing. That means at the crest of each wave rudder action, and at the trough.
You also know how when a sailboat goes off course, the wind will either naturally correct it (close hauled) or else it will diverge and get worse? The autopilot needs to determine the coefficients for equations that describe this. That way when the boat is naturally stable, the autopilot need not make any correction, but when the boat is diverging it needs to take swift action. In both cases, the error might initially be the same.
I would like to share some differential equations I am working on to describe the boat motion.
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