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A Forward Reachability Equation for Minimum-Time Path Planning in Strong Dynamic Flows

Lolla, T. and P.F.J. Lermusiaux, 2017. A Forward Reachability Equation for Minimum-Time Path Planning in Strong Dynamic Flows. SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, sub-judice.

A theoretical synthesis of forward reachability for minimum–time control of anisotropic vehicles operating in strong and dynamic flows is provided. The synthesis relies on the computation of the forward reachable set of states. Using ideas rooted in the theory of non–smooth calculus, we prove that this set is governed by the viscosity solution of an unsteady Hamilton–Jacobi (HJ) equation. We show that the minimum arrival time satisfies a static HJ equation, when a special local controllability condition holds. Results are exemplified by applications to a sailboat moving in a uniform wind–field and autonomous underwater gliders operating in the Sulu Archipelago.