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Advances in Mathematical Physics
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1016530, 11 pages
Research Article

Some Discussions about the Error Functions on SO(3) and SE(3) for the Guidance of a UAV Using the Screw Algebra Theory

College of Automation Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yi Zhu

Received 2 August 2016; Revised 3 November 2016; Accepted 29 November 2016; Published 4 January 2017

Academic Editor: Stephen C. Anco

Copyright © 2017 Yi Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this paper a new error function designed on 3-dimensional special Euclidean group SE(3) is proposed for the guidance of a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). In the beginning, a detailed 6-DOF (Degree of Freedom) aircraft model is formulated including 12 nonlinear differential equations. Secondly the definitions of the adjoint representations are presented to establish the relationships of the Lie groups SO(3) and SE(3) and their Lie algebras so(3) and se(3). After that the general situation of the differential equations with matrices belonging to SO(3) and SE(3) is presented. According to these equations the features of the error function on SO(3) are discussed. Then an error function on SE(3) is devised which creates a new way of error functions constructing. In the simulation a trajectory tracking example is given with a target trajectory being a curve of elliptic cylinder helix. The result shows that a better tracking performance is obtained with the new devised error function.