Section: New Results
Average control systems
Participants : Alex Bombrun [ Univ. of Heidelberg ] , Jean-Baptiste Pomet.
In the terminology of  ,  , a Kepler control system is a system in dimension n whose drift has n-1 first integral and compact trajectories and where the control is “small” in the sense that we are interested in asymptotic properties as the bound on the control tends to zero. It is the case in low thrust orbital transfer, see section 4.4 , for negative energy, i.e. in the so-called elliptic domain.
For this class of systems, a notion of average control system is introduced in  ,  . Using averaging techniques in this context is rather natural, since the free system produces a fast periodic motion and the small control a slow one; averaging is a widespread tool in perturbations of integrable Hamiltonian systems, and the small control is in some sense a “perturbation”. In some recent literature, one proceeds as follows: the control is pre-assigned, for instance to time optimal control via Pontryagin's Maximum Principle or else to some feedback designed beforehand. Then, averaging is performed on the resulting ordinary differential equation, whose limit behavior is analyzed when the control magnitude tends to zero.
The novelty of  (see also  ) is to average before assigning the control, hence getting a control system that describes the limit behavior better. For that reason, the average control system is a convenient tool when comparing different control strategies.
It allowed us to answer an open question stated in  on the minimum transfer-time between two elliptic orbit when the thrust magnitude tends to zero, see  .
Under some controllability conditions that are trivially satisfied in the case at hand, we proved that the average system is one where the velocity set has nonempty interior, i.e. all velocity directions are allowed at any point, and the constraint is convex; mathematically this yields a Finsler structure (in the same way as a controllable system without drift with a quadratic constraint on the control yields a sub-Riemannian structure). An article is in progress, reporting on these results  .