The notion of orbit
of a control system used in mathematical control theory
is a particular case of the notion of orbit in group theory
control system, where
belongs to a finite-dimensional manifold
belongs to a control set
. Consider the family
and assume that every vector field in
and every real
, denote by
The orbit of the control system through a point is the subset of defined by
The difference between orbits and attainable sets
is that, whereas for attainable sets only forward-in-time motions are allowed, both forward and backward motions are permitted for orbits.
In particular, if the family
is symmetric (i.e.,
if and only if
), then orbits and attainable sets coincide.
The hypothesis that every vector field of is complete simplifies the notations but can be dropped. In this case one has to replace flows of vector fields by local versions of them.
Orbit theorem (Nagano-Sussmann)
is an immersed submanifold
The tangent space to the orbit
at a point is the linear subspace of spanned by
the vectors where denotes the pushforward of by , belongs to and is a diffeomorphism of of the form with and .
If all the vector fields of the family are analytic, then where is the evaluation at of the Lie algebra generated by with respect to the Lie bracket of vector fields.
Otherwise, the inclusion holds true.
Corollary (Rashevsky-Chow theorem)
then each orbit is equal to the whole manifold