Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Attitude Control Related Abstracts

4 Numerical Solving Method for Specific Dynamic Performance of Unstable Flight Dynamics with PD Attitude Control

Authors: Y. Zhang, M. W. Sun, L. M. Zhang, Z. H. Wang, Z. Q. Chen


In the realm of flight control, the Proportional- Derivative (PD) control is still widely used for the attitude control in practice, particularly for the pitch control, and the attitude dynamics using PD controller should be investigated deeply. According to the empirical knowledge about the unstable flight dynamics, the control parameter combination conditions to generate sole or finite number of closed-loop oscillations, which is a quite smooth response and is more preferred by practitioners, are presented in analytical or numerical manners. To analyze the effects of the combination conditions of the control parameters, the roots of several polynomials are sought to obtain feasible solutions. These conditions can also be plotted in a 2-D plane which makes the conditions be more explicit by using multiple interval operations. Finally, numerical examples are used to validate the proposed methods and some comparisons are also performed.

Keywords: Attitude Control, dynamic performance, numerical solving method, interval, unstable flight dynamics

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3 Design of Optimal Proportional Integral Derivative Attitude Controller for an Uncoupled Flexible Satellite Using Particle Swarm Optimization

Authors: Jibril D. Jiya, Martha C. Orazulume


Flexible satellites are equipped with various appendages which vibrate under the influence of any excitation and make the attitude of the satellite to be unstable. Therefore, the system must be able to adjust to balance the effect of these appendages in order to point accurately and satisfactorily which is one of the most important problems in satellite design. Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Controller is simple to design and computationally efficient to implement which is used to stabilize the effect of these flexible appendages. However, manual turning of the PID is time consuming, waste energy and money. Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is used to tune the parameters of PID Controller. Simulation results obtained show that PSO tuned PID Controller is able to re-orient the spacecraft attitude as well as dampen the effect of mechanical resonance and yields better performance when compared with manually tuned PID Controller.

Keywords: Particle Swarm Optimization, Attitude Control, Flexible Satellite, PID Controller and Optimization

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2 Autonomous Rendezvous for Underactuated Spacecraft

Authors: Espen Oland


This paper presents a solution to the problem of autonomous rendezvous for spacecraft equipped with one main thruster for translational control and three reaction wheels for rotational control. With fewer actuators than degrees of freedom, this constitutes an underactuated control problem, requiring a coupling between the translational and rotational dynamics to facilitate control. This paper shows how to obtain this coupling, and applies the results to autonomous rendezvous between a follower spacecraft and a leader spacecraft. Additionally, since the thrust is constrained between zero and an upper bound, no negative forces can be generated to slow down the speed of the spacecraft. A combined speed and attitude control logic is therefore created that can be divided into three main phases: 1) The orbital velocity vector is pointed towards the desired position and the thrust is used to obtain the desired speed, 2) during the coasting phase, the attitude is changed to facilitate deceleration using the main thruster, 3) the speed is decreased as the spacecraft reaches its desired position. The results are validated through simulations, showing the capabilities of the proposed approach.

Keywords: Attitude Control, spacecraft rendezvous, translational control, underactuated rigid body

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1 Time Optimal Control Mode Switching between Detumbling and Pointing in the Early Orbit Phase

Authors: O. B. Iskender, L. Simonini, W. M. Ng, J. M. Gonzalez


A multitude of factors, including mechanical imperfections of the deployment system and separation instance of satellites from launchers, oftentimes results in highly uncontrolled initial tumbling motion immediately after deployment. In particular, small satellites which are characteristically launched as a piggyback to a large rocket, are generally allocated a large time window to complete detumbling within the early orbit phase. Because of the saturation risk of the actuators, current algorithms are conservative to avoid draining excessive power in the detumbling phase. This work aims to enable time-optimal switching of control modes during the early phase, reducing the time required to transit from launch to sun-pointing mode for power budget conscious satellites. This assumes the usage of B-dot controller for detumbling and PD controller for pointing. Nonlinear Euler's rotation equations are used to represent the attitude dynamics of satellites and Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) reaction wheels and magnetorquers are used to perform the manoeuver. Simulation results will be based on a spacecraft attitude simulator and the use case will be for multiple orbits of launch deployment general to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

Keywords: Spacecraft Autonomy, Small Satellites, Attitude Control, detumbling, time optimal control

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