Decentralized cooperative-control design for multivehicle formations Academic Article uri icon


  • In a decentralized cooperative-control regime, individual vehicles autonomously compute their required control inputs to achieve a group objective. Controlling formations of individual vehicles is one application of decentralized cooperative control. In this paper, cooperative-control schemes are developed for a multivehicle formation problem with information flow modeled by leader-follower subsystems. Control laws are developed to drive position and velocity errors between vehicle pairs to zero. The general control law for the ith vehicle tracks its lead vehicle's position and velocity, as well as a reference position and velocity that the whole formation follows. Rate-estimation schemes are developed for the general control law using both Luenberger-observer and passive-filtering estimation methods. It is shown that these estimation methods are complicated by the effects that the estimated rates have on formation stability. Finally, the development of a rate-free controller is presented, which does not require state information from other vehicles in the formation. The control schemes are simulated for a five-vehicle formation and are compared for stability and formation convergence. Copyright 2008 by L. A. Weitz, J. E. Hurtado, and A. J. Sinclair. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Weitz, L. A., Hurtado, J. E., & Sinclair, A. J.

complete list of authors

  • Weitz, Lesley A||Hurtado, John E||Sinclair, Andrew J

publication date

  • January 1, 2008 11:11 AM