Time-optimal paths for a dubins airplane

Hamidreza Chitsaz, Steven M. LaValle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We consider finding a time-optimal trajectory for an airplane from some starting point and orientation to some final point and orientation. Our model extends the Dubins car [15] to have altitude, which leads to Dubins airplane. We assume that the system has independent bounded control over the altitude velocity as well as the turning rate in the plane. Through the use of the Pontryagin Maximum Principle, we characterize the time-optimal trajectories for the system. They are composed of turns with minimum radius, straight line segments, and pieces of planar elastica. One motivation for determining these elementary pieces is for use as motion primitives in modern planning and control algorithms that consider obstacles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1424414989, 9781424414987
StatePublished - 2007
Event46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Dec 12 2007Dec 14 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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