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Circumnavigation of a Moving Target in 3D by Multi-agent Systems with Collision Avoidance: An Orthogonal Vector Fields-based Approach

Hang Zhong, Yaonan Wang, Zhiqiang Miao*, Jianhao Tan, Ling Li, Hui Zhang, and Rafael Fierro
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 17, no. 1, pp.212-224, 2019

Abstract : "The problem of circumnavigating a moving target in a three dimensional setting by a network of agents while avoiding inter-agent collisions is addressed in this paper. A distributed control strategy is proposed for the multi-agent system to achieve three objectives: reaching the target plane with predesigned orientation, circulating around the target with prescribed radius, and avoiding collisions among agents. After representing the control objectives by three potential functions, the gradient fields of which are orthogonal to each other, the control law then is developed using the gradient vector field-based approach. The novelty of the proposed controller lies in the orthogonality of the vector fields, which decouples the control objectives and ensures global asymptotic convergence to the desired motion, subject to some mild initial condition constraints. The stability and convergence analysis are presented using Lyapunov tools, and the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy is demonstrated through numerical simulations."

Keyword : "Circumnavigation, collision avoidance, multi-agent systems, potential function, target tracking/ enclosing, vector fields."

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