Adventures on the interface of dynamics and control
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Controllers for dynamic systems are best designed, on the average, by analysts whose expertise encompasses both modeling of the class of systems under discussion and methodology for designing controllers. Good decisions on issues such as selection of coordinates, modeling approximations, selection/design and location of sensors and actuators, and definition of meaningful performance measures require expertise beyond algebraic/computational methods for control design. This commonsense viewpoint underlies a significant trend toward a unified development of analysis methodology for mechanics and control, especially with regard to spacecraft dynamics, stability, estimation, and control. This paper overviews recent developments and discusses several "adventures" that illustrate mechanics-based insights useful in modern applications. The discussion spans orbital dynamics, attitude dynamics and control, and nonlinear multibody dynamics and control and considers both conceptual developments and results from several successful missions.
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