Automatica, Vol.96, 380-392, 2018
Minimal controllability time for finite-dimensional control systems under state constraints
We consider the controllability problem for finite-dimensional linear autonomous control systems, under state constraints but without imposing any control constraint. It is well known that, under the classical Kalman condition, in the absence of constraints on the state and the control, one can drive the system from any initial state to any final one in an arbitrarily small time. Furthermore, it is also well known that there is a positive minimal time in the presence of compact control constraints. We prove that, surprisingly, a positive minimal time may be required as well under state constraints, even if one does not impose any restriction on the control. This may even occur when the state constraints are unilateral, like the nonnegativity of some components of the state, for instance. Using the Brunovsky normal forms of controllable systems, we analyze this phenomenon in detail, that we illustrate by several examples. We discuss some extensions to nonlinear control systems and formulate some challenging open problems. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.