Formation Control for Fixed-Wing UAVs Modeled with Extended Unicycle Dynamics that Include Attitude Kinematics on SO(m) and Speed Constraints

Christopher Heintz, Jesse B. Hoagg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present a formation-control algorithm for agents with extended unicycle dynamics that include orientation kinematics on SO(m), first-order speed dynamics, and a hard constraint on speed. The desired interagent positions are expressed in a leader-fixed coordinate frame, which is aligned with and rotates with the leader's velocity vector. Thus, the desired interagent positions vary in time as the leader-fixed frame rotates. We assume that each agent has relative-position feedback of its neighbor agents, where the neighbor sets are such that the interagent communication (i.e., feedback) structure represents an undirected and connected graph. We also assume that at least one agent has access to a measurement its position relative to the leader. The analytic result shows that the agents converge to the desired relative positions with the other agents and the leader, and we provide sufficient conditions to ensure that each agent's speed satisfies the speed constraints. We also present an experiment with 3 fixed-wing unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) that demonstrates the leader-fixed formation-control algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 American Control Conference, ACC 2020
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538682661
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Event2020 American Control Conference, ACC 2020 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jul 1 2020Jul 3 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2020 American Control Conference, ACC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation (CNS-1932105, OIA-1539070) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NNX15AR69H) through the NASA Kentucky Space Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 AACC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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