Motion Control of Drift-Free, Left-Invariant Systems on Lie Groups

N.E. Leonard and P.S. Krishnaprasad

IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol. 40, No. 9, September, 1995, p. 1539-1554.


In this paper we address the constructive controllability problem for drift-free, left-invariant systems on finite-dimensional Lie groups with fewer controls than state dimension. We consider small ($\epsilon$) amplitude, low-frequency, periodically time-varying controls and derive average solutions for system behavior. We show how the $p$th-order average formula can be used to construct open-loop controls for point-to-point maneuvering of systems that require up to $(p-1)$ iterations of Lie brackets to satisfy the Lie algebra controllability rank condition. In the cases $p = 2,3$, we give algorithms for constructing these controls as a function of structure constants that define the control authority, i.e., the actuator capability, of the system. The algorithms are based on a geometric interpretation of the average formulas and produce sinusoidal controls that solve the constructive controllability problem with $O(\epsilon^p)$ accuracy in general (exactly if the Lie algebra is nilpotent). The methodology is applicable to a variety of control problems and is illustrated for the motion control problem of an autonomous underwater vehicle with as few as three control inputs.

Postscript Version (40 pages postscript, 280KB)

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