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Limit Time Optimal Syntheses for a control-affine system on S²

TitleLimit Time Optimal Syntheses for a control-affine system on S²
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMason, P, Salmoni, R, Boscain, U, Chitour, Y
JournalSIAM J. Control Optim. 47 (2008) 111-143

For $\\\\alpha \\\\in ]0,\\\\pi/2[$, let $(\\\\Sigma)_\\\\alpha$ be the control system $\\\\dot{x}=(F+uG)x$, where $x$ belongs to the two-dimensional unit sphere $S^2$, $u\\\\in [-1,1]$, and $F,G$ are $3\\\\times3$ skew-symmetric matrices generating rotations with perpendicular axes and of respective norms $\\\\cos(\\\\alpha)$ and $\\\\sin(\\\\alpha)$. In this paper, we study the time optimal synthesis (TOS) from the north pole $(0,0,1)^T$ associated to $(\\\\Sigma)_\\\\alpha$, as the parameter $\\\\alpha$ tends to zero; this problem is motivated by specific issues in the control of quantum systems. We first prove that the TOS is characterized by a \\\"two-snakes\\\" configuration on the whole $S^2$, except for a neighborhood $U_\\\\alpha$ of the south pole $(0,0,-1)^T$ of diameter at most ${\\\\cal O}(\\\\alpha)$. We next show that, inside $U_\\\\alpha$, the TOS depends on the relationship between $r(\\\\alpha):=\\\\pi/2\\\\alpha-[\\\\pi/2\\\\alpha]$ and $\\\\alpha$. More precisely, we characterize three main relationships by considering sequences $(\\\\alpha_k)_{k\\\\geq 0}$ satisfying (a) $r(\\\\alpha_k)=\\\\bar{r}$, (b) $r(\\\\alpha_k)=C\\\\alpha_k$, and (c) $r(\\\\alpha_k)=0$, where $\\\\bar{r}\\\\in (0,1)$ and $C>0$. In each case, we describe the TOS and provide, after a suitable rescaling, the limiting behavior, as $\\\\alpha$ tends to zero, of the corresponding TOS inside $U_\\\\alpha$.


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