Special Issue "Advanced Motion Planning and Control in Aerospace Applications"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 756

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Caisheng Wei
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Interests: flight dynamics and control; trajectory planning; formation flying control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Xiaodong Shao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Aeronautic Science and Engineering, Beihang University, No. 37, Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China
Interests: spacecraft motion planning and control; adaptive control; fault-tolerant control
Dr. Kenan Yong
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Automation Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
Interests: robust constrained control and its application in aerospace engineering
Dr. Zeyang Yin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Automation, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Interests: flight vehicle dynamics; decision-making and control

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A key trait of an atmospheric or space flight vehicle is the ability to autonomously plan its own motion trajectory and track the trajectory afterwards in order to accomplish specified flight tasks via jointly applying motion planning and control algorithms. The motion planning and control technique with strong autonomy, high safety, and high accuracy is the key to ensuring the success of flight tasks. In aerospace applications, the flight vehicle is usually required to operate in a complex environment without any collision with obstacles, whilst complying with some underlying motion and physical constraints, such as actuator input saturation, sensor pointing constraints, linear/angular velocity constraints, etc. Even though considerable progress has been made in the field of constrained motion planning, most of the existing methods are susceptible to model uncertainties and have limited constraint-handling capability, which may cause safety issues or, even worse, lead to mission failure. From a control perspective, the flight control systems may be subjected to parameter uncertainties, internal/external disturbances, actuator saturation, and faults, which necessitate the design of safe, reliable, and high-performance tracking controllers. A significant challenge arises when some of those issues are treated simultaneously. Moreover, certain transient and steady-state tracking performance demands further increase the difficulty of designing flight controllers. Despite recent advances, further study is needed to develop advanced motion planning and control methods with enhanced autonomy, safety, robustness, and constraint-handling capability for aerospace applications. This Special Issue aims to gather a collection of research papers and survey papers that can reflect the recent theoretical and technological advances in motion planning and control theory that have highly impacted aerospace engineering. The broad fields of motion planning and control methodologies and applications in aerospace systems are the major areas covered, together with connections to artificial intelligence, information theory, game theory, and other emerging technologies. 

Dr. Caisheng Wei
Dr. Xiaodong Shao
Dr. Kenan Yong
Dr. Zeyang Yin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • spacecraft
  • unmanned aerial vehicles
  • motion planning
  • pose measurement and estimation
  • position and attitude dynamics
  • trajectory optimization
  • rendezvous and docking
  • flight task decision making and assignment
  • intelligent control
  • system identification
  • fault diagnosis and fault-tolerant control
  • prescribed performance control
  • anti-disturbance control
  • model predictive control

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Spherical Formation Tracking Control of Non-Holonomic UAVs with State Constraints and Time Delays
Aerospace 2023, 10(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10020118 - 26 Jan 2023
Viewed by 223
This paper addresses a novel spherical formation tracking control problem of multiple UAVs with time-varying delays in the directed communication network, where the dynamics of each UAV is non-holonomic and in the presence of spatiotemporal flowfields. The state constraints (that is, position and [...] Read more.
This paper addresses a novel spherical formation tracking control problem of multiple UAVs with time-varying delays in the directed communication network, where the dynamics of each UAV is non-holonomic and in the presence of spatiotemporal flowfields. The state constraints (that is, position and velocity constraints) are derived from our previous differential geometry method and the F–S formulas. The state constraints and time delays in the directed communication network bring many difficulties to controller design. To this end, a virtual-structure-like design is given to achieve a formation with delayed information by using Lyapunov–Krasovskii functionals, and then proposing a barrier Lyapunov function for the satisfaction of state constraints to design a novel spherical formation tracking algorithm. The general assumption of the rate of change of time-varying delays, and a certain initial position and velocity adjustment range are given. Simulation results show the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Motion Planning and Control in Aerospace Applications)
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