What’s In A Picture?

ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics

The University of Texas at Austin


What’s In A Picture?
Apollo 11 Photograph Shows Lunar Module Carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin Returning from the Lunar Surface to Dock with Command Module Columbia. Taken By Michael Collins on July 21, 1969

Solar Direction Surface Feature Size at Lunar Horizon Earth “size” from Moon ~2 degrees Lunar Radius Of Curvature

Direction to Earth From Command Module

Lunar Module “size” From Command Module ~6 degrees Lunar Module Ascent Rocket Engine

Direction to Lunar Module From Command Module Apollo 11 Command Module
ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin


Attitude Dynamics Attitude Determination and Control
E. Glenn Lightsey, Professor The Univ. of Texas at Austin (with excerpts from an earlier presentation by G. Smit)

August 25, 2011

ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics

The University of Texas at Austin


Attitude Determination and Control: What is it?
Some Initial Concepts

• Attitude – The direction an object is pointed, as measured between a reference direction (the “zero attitude”) and one or more fixed directions on the object. • Determination – The process of inferring by some means the attitude of the object.
– This can be done by sensing, computation, or combined methods.

Earth defines a reference direction, φE.

• Control – The process of maintaining or changing the attitude of the object, presumably from a less desirable attitude to a more desirable attitude, within some acceptable error tolerance.

Satellite’s orientation is determined and/or controlled relative to the reference Direction, φB.

ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics

The University of Texas at Austin


guidance. and control process. t2) φ (t2) • Navigation2 – Sometimes refers to the whole process of determination. As in “to navigate from one point to another”. φ (t1) Attitude State at t1 Attitude State at t2 controlled trajectory • Φ (t1. and control. this is the job of the Controller or Control Law.Some Additional Terms That Can Cause Confusion! • Navigation1 – Is usually associated with determining the position and velocity of an object. Guidance1 – Is the manner of calculating a maneuver plan or trajectory that takes from one attitude (or position) to another. but can be extended to include attitude (direction) and attitude rates (angular velocity) as well. guidance. Guidance2 – Sometimes refers to the entire determination. A Guidance Law calculates The controlled trajectory Φ (t1. as in “the Guidance System of the vehicle”. The Guidance Law does not actually execute the maneuver. • ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 5 . t2) That takes the object from φ (t1) To φ (t2) The Control Law actually executes This maneuver (usually by using Actuators). – – The algorithm that does this is called the “Guidance Law”.

or to take some action. exclude known bad measurements. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 6 . This model of the Earth’s gravity field Was constructed after months of postprocessing of science and attitude data (GRACE). etc. – Post-Processed attitude determination has the opportunity to be better than real-time because of the ability to see “into the future”.Attitude Determination: Two Types • Real-Time – when you need to know “right now” what the attitude of the vehicle is. Shuttle commander needs to know “right now” his attitude with respect to ISS for collision avoidance. for situational awareness. • Post-Processed – can be determined hours or days after the fact.

Attitude Requirements • Flow down from mission requirements • Attitude Determination Requirements – Real-Time • Health & Safety: Communications. acquire) within a given time Avoid pointing sensitive instruments or radiators at the Sun ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 7 . Situational Awareness • Attitude Control Requirements – – – – – Point with a given accuracy Track a moving target Hold jitter below a given level Retarget. Power • Orient Vehicle For Maneuvers • Support Attitude Control Requirements – Post-Processed • Science. Trajectory Reconstruction. settle (also.

Impact of Attitude Control on Spacecraft Design • Choice of S/C attitude control approach strongly influences overall S/C configuration – – – – – – – Uncontrolled/Tumbling Magnetic Spinner Gravity gradient Zero momentum Three axis Dual spin • Hence. ACS approach is a basic system decision which must occur early in the program ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 8 .

the “pain” must be shared equitably among the various subsystems • A typical flowdown takes the following form. Disturbances ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 9 . control actuators) so that • Each piece can actually be made (and afforded) • When combined. in gimbal Servo B/W. Misalignment Stiction.e. number of layers. labels of boxes (etc. Actual nimbers. etc.Sensing and Control Error Budget • Given a S/C configuration and a system requirement – A set of requirements must now be assigned to each of the subsystems/components (e.) may evolve System Pointing Requirement (say) 100 sec Determination 70 sec Control 70 sec S/C ADS Payload relative to S/C ADS S/C Pointing Gimbal Pointing Component Errors Misalignment Resolver Errors Deformation.g. the overall system will meet its requirement • Properly assigning this flowdown of requirements is essential for a successful program – i. attitude sensors.

Risk.Attitude Determination: Sensor Selection • Need attitude sensors for a variety of purposes • The actual mission may require – (High accuracy) attitude determination – Slewing (retargeting) • S/C functionality may also require – Recovery from tumbling – Acquiring Sun – Pointing for delta-V maneuvers • Message: different modes may need different hardware – Can try to choose hardware suitable for all modes (or choose modes compatible with hardware you’ve chosen!) – Bear in mind desirability of things like redundancy • Every Sensor Has A Price! – $. Data. Extra Work – Ask Yourself: Is every sensor really required? ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 10 . Availability.

Anode Length control Cathode But we were meant for each other! A Star-crossed love story.Attitude Sensors: Two Basic Types Hi. Any drift must be detected using an external reference. Sun. beacon [on Earth or on another satellite]) Ring Laser Gyro Readout detector Prism • Inertial reference – Detect the extent to which the object they’re mounted on is not an inertial frame of reference – Inherently detect rates or accelerations – angles must be inferred via integration. I’m an inertial sensor because I measure internal forces. • External reference – Sense the direction to some reference object (Star. I’m an external sensor because I look at stars. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 11 . Earth. You’re not my type.

Star Sensors • Detector (on focal plane) – typically a CCD array (some other technologies under development) • Some sort of sun-shade – possibly also a shutter which closes if the sun gets too close • • May have thermal control – to minimize distortion Read-out – Usually provides processed attitude output (e.vectronic-aerospace.g. quaternion or Euler angles VST-41M Star Sensor Lightweight (1.5 W) Suitable for LEO http://www.1 kg) Low power consumption (2.com/html/star_sensor.html • Algorithms – Pattern recognition – Star tracking and centroiding – Often two modes (acquire and fine point) ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 12 .

Wider FOV. mechanical scan. detector arrays • Typically look at LWIR (CO2 bands) – Earth shape is the same night/day • Main error sources – – – – Should account for Earth oblateness Radiance effects Intrusion of other items (Sun. single detector – Starers . “strap down”. Moon) Usually optimized for a given altitude • Elliptical orbits can reduce accuracy ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 13 . simple optics.Narrow FOV.Earth Sensors • Two main types: scanners and starers – Scanners .

low cost. larger size. bright. small size. easily acquired reference – Problem with eclipse ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 14 . Ways to get much better. • Large.Sun Sensors • Two main types: analog and digital – Analog (compare brightness on various detectors to infer aspect angle) • Usually low accuracy.5 deg). no power required – Digital (position on a detector array) • Usually higher accuracy. higher cost. some power • Simple digital sun sensors limited to size of sun (about 0.

Magnetometers • Measures local magnetic field. relatively low cost and power • Almost all attitude system magnetometers are flux-gate • Accuracy usually limited more by quality of on-board Earth field model and by effects of on-board fields than by the device itself ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 15 . small. reliable. compares to reference Earth field model to determine direction (attitude) • Simple.

GPS • Handy autonomous source of ephemeris and time data • May already be required for positioning • Can be used for attitude – Coarse: uses antenna gain pattern – Fine: uses interferometry from multiple antennas My Favorite! • Issues – – – – Errors and data dropouts Availability of units Signal at higher altitudes GPS satellites are designed to broadcast “down” so some orbits (e. Geostationary) are higher than GPS altitude FASTRAC’s Flight GPS Receivers (x2) ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 16 .g.

25 lb None Low Earth Sensor Horizon Scanner 100+ arcsec 100+ arcsec Low – Mod. Low – Mod. High 2 – 5 lb 2 lb 1 lb 2+ W 1+ W 1W Mod. . . 5.High Low – Mod.lb 2 – 5 lb 5W 2W Mod.Typical External Sensor Performance Type Star Sensor Star Camera Digital Sun Sensor Accuracy 3 – 30 arcsec 50+ arcsec 50+ arcsec Bandwidth Low moderate Mod. . GPS (Int) GPS (gain) Magnetometer 1 deg 5+ deg 2 deg Low – Mod. Low Low ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 17 .High Weight 10 lb 3 lb 2 lb Power 10 W 5W 2W Cost High (up to $1M) Moderate Mod. Low – Mod.High Analog Sun Sensor 1 deg High 0.

rotating wheel Dry-tuned Gyro Flexures Inner twisted Outer twisted Mechanical .Inertial Sensors: Gyroscopes Mechanical .vibrating Tuning-fork Gyro Tyne vibration Hemispherical Resonator Gyro Driving electrodes Vibrating resonator Hemispherical resonator Case Pickoff electrodes Rotation: Case Modes Input Output vibration (due to Coriolis acceleration of tynes) ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 18 .

continued Optical Ring Laser Gyro Readout detector Prism Detector Fiber Optic Gyro Anode Source Beam splitter Coil Length control Cathode MEMS (Micro Electical Machined Sensor) Note: Picture does not Include electronic packaging.Gyroscopes. Which is several times larger than sensor! ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 19 .

reducing sensitivity. Optical gyros rely on computer memory and can reset. Radiation effects can darken FOG coils over time. – FOGs and MEMS gyros can be very robust.Gyro Technology Perceptions – Optical gyros tend to have larger dynamic range than mechanical gyros (no moving parts). – MEMS gyros have high drift rates compared to other systems at this time (~2007). – Mechanical gyros (including HRGs) have “memory” and so can ride out some electronic glitches. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 20 . – Continual development provides counterexamples to just about every “general rule”. – RLGs have good scale factor stability (provided their path area is feedback compensated for thermal effects).

dither Moderate Moderate FOG .01 deg/hr Ride out SEUs(!) Moderate Moderate .High MEMS >1 deg/hr Rugged. Range. moving parts Low dyn.01 deg/hr Stable scale factor High voltage. small size Not quite there yet Low Potentially low ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 21 .Typical Gyro Performance Type Drift Strengths Weaknesses Power Cost Floated .001+ deg/hr Low drift Low dynamic range.01(-) deg/hr Rugged Radiation(?) Low Low-Moderate HRG .001+ deg/hr Easier to make Moderate High if you want high preformance RLG . moving parts Moderate High DTG .

can have high bandwidth. they don’t need to remember their initial conditions) – It’s common to combine inertial and external sensors using estimation methods Our story has A happy ending! Readout detector Anode Ring Laser Gyro Prism Length control Cathode ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 22 .e.Attitude Determination: Sensor Selection Revisited • Performance vs cost vs weight vs volume vs reliability/heritage vs availability • Basic performance trades – Inertial sensors always have measurements available. but give direct measurements (I. but need to be updated – External sensors may have low(er) bandwidth. may be temporarily blinded or otherwise unavailable.

you must be able to measure it and compare it with the desired state • Measurement => attitude determination – Must be able to describe the attitude (parametrization) – Sensors don’t usually respond directly with attitude solution – Translate sensor response into parameter values • Control (if necessary) => apply torques such that spacecraft’s dynamical response will appropriately modify the state – Understand the dynamics (spacecraft and actuators) – Use actuators to maneuver the vehicle according to control law – Feedback control – issues of stability ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 23 .ADC Overview • To control something.

Euler angles are generally less efficient. direction cosines and quaternions are comparable.Attitude Parameterizations • Several standard ways of specifying a (relative) attitude – Euler angles – Quaternions – Direction cosine matrix • There are also some compact techniques for specifying position and attitude – Useful for gimballed systems (and for robotics) • Comparisons – Quaternions are probably the most common for actual flight applications – Computationally. – Conceptually – whatever you’re used to! ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 24 .

we have enough information to find our 3-axis orientation ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 25 .g. in ECI) this gives us the S/C orientation modulo a rotation about the line to the star • If we sight another star (not on this line!). we want to find the orientation of S/C coordinates relative to this standard frame • If we sight a single star (of known location. e.g.Geometry of Attitude Determination Method • What information is required to determine the attitude using external sensors? – Typically we have one or more instruments mounted on the S/C.g. the sun. detecting external references (e. the earth) and giving the direction to these objects in S/C coordinates – From a knowledge of the directions to these objects in some standard coordinate system (e. stars. ECI).

Vector Based Attitude Determination: Implementation • We have found two reference vectors in body coordinates. from which we can infer R: • Let M = (q r s ) qB = u B rB = u B × vB / u B × vB s B = q B × rB M I = (q I B B B rI sI ) B RM I = M B R = M B M I−1 = M B M IT ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 26 . u B . => qI . R. vI • We can form orthogonal triads in the two coordinate frames from these vectors • We can construct the I-frame triad similarly. sI • The rotation matrix. based on knowledge of position. using the known directions in that reference frame. rI .). maps I to B (e. vB • We also know the orientation of these vectors in the reference frame. u I .g.

e. these effects are combined. in a “Kalman Filter” An on-board processor is required if these solutions are needed in real-time – Make sure the processor has enough horsepower to handle the operations Propulsion Magneto Torquer Reaction Wheel Sub System Magneto Torquer TerraSar AOCS ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 27 .g. To compensate for data dropouts. This is done implicitly in the “spin axis” problem). so our two stars may be viewed at different times – we then need to use our knowledge of the spacecraft motion to allow us to back out the attitude.Estimation: Combining Several Measurements • We may want to combine readings – – To reduce errors by taking the “average” of several measurements To compensate for a lack of observability (we may not be able to see two stars simultaneously. GPS Antenna 1 GPS Antenna 2 GPS Receiver Star Sensor Inertial Measurement Unit Coarse Earth Sun Sensor Magnetometer OBC Section 1 On-board Computer OBC Section 2 – • • Usually.

it is common to introduce a skew symmetric matrix of rates: (note this is for q = [ q1 q2 q3 q0 ]’ ) dq 1 = Ωq dt 2  0   − ω3 Ω= ω2   −ω 1   sin(φ ) cos(φ ) 0  ω x  ψ       1  0  ω y   θ  =  cos(φ ) sin(θ ) − sin(φ ) sin(θ )  φ  sin(θ )  − sin(φ ) cos(θ ) − cos(φ ) cos(θ ) sin(θ )  ω       z  ω3 0 − ω1 − ω2 − ω2 ω1 0 − ω3 ω1   ω2  ω3   0   ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 28 . we measure the angular rate (e.g.Propagating Attitude • When we use inertial sensors. because some of the rates are not orthogonal. but you have to be careful. Euler rates might be related to the body (gyro) rates by: • Quaternions In writing down the propagation equation for quaternions. • We then need to integrate this over a finite time interval to find the change in the attitude • For each of the parametrizations. As an example. of the S/C or the payload). we can derive a differential equation which integrates to give the attitude change Euler Angles • These can be derived geometrically.

To find the attitude. This is a vector equation (3 scalar equations) • Euler’s equations give the evolution of the angular velocity (as seen in body coordinates).e.g. we need to integrate again (using equations expressing the angular velocity in terms of the attitude parametrization we’re using) – Some of the pros and cons of the various parametrizations (e. • •  D( Iω ) / Dt = Iω + ω × Iω = T • Euler’s equations are simply the torque = rate of change of angular momentum relation expressed in body coordinates (i. Motion described by Euler’s equations. For some problems this may be all we need.Dynamics: Euler’s Equations • Many small satellites can be treated as single rigid bodies. – There are some simple. singularities) become important at this point – The general problem of rigid body motion can be difficult. with a fancy time derivative – the reason for using body coordinates is to keep the moment of inertia expressions simple). special cases of use in satellite design. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 29 .

e. with two of the principal moments of inertia equal – Zero torque (I. Rigid body satellite! ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 30 . torque free motion) • This is a common case of interest for many satellites FASTRAC is an example of an axisymmetric. a symmetrical body.Simple Cases of Attitude Dynamics • We can simplify Euler’s equation by – Choosing simple coordinates (in which I is diagonal – “Principal Coordinates”) – Choosing simple I (e.g.

prolate spinner is unstable (important for upper stages and for spinning satellites). symmetric equations of motion reduce to the form •  ω x = λω y  ω y = −λω x  ωz = 0 • This gives rise to “coning motion” described as gyroscopic precession • Depending on the sign of lambda (prolate or oblate body) coning motion is either in the same direction or opposite to that of the spin In the presence of energy dissipation.Axisymmetric Torque Free Motion • The torque free. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 31 .

– But you can sometimes design your mission to meet these needs without control! • The First Question to Ask: Does your mission absolutely require attitude control? Because it’s going to negatively impact your satellite design. the UNP-3 winner. Power. Redundancy and design margin are also considered. Pick the minimal control solution that allows you to accomplish your mission. has no ACS requirement. and chance of success! – Example: FASTRAC. when uncontrolled motion is not sufficient to meet the mission requirements. Attitude Determination. Science. Thermal. Maneuvering. Actuator Size. Power. complexity. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 32 . cost. • The Second Question to Ask: What is the least amount of control that will allow you to safely accomplish your mission? – Required Control Effort Affects: Mission Cost. Spin Damping. • ACS may be needed for: Communications. Mission Life • Bottom Line: Never control the vehicle more than required.Attitude Control: What’s It Good For? • Attitude Control is the act of maintaining or modifying the vehicle’s orientation through some means.

ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 33 . you may need active phases periodically (e.Two Types of Attitude Control • Passive: – The S/C dynamics (possibly coupled with the Earth’s gravity) directly yields a system with the desired attitude behavior. – Control errors are usually larger with these systems (several degrees) due to disturbances. – Examples: • • • • • Gravity Gradient Magnets (Passive) Simple Spinner Nutation Damper Drag Panels or Feathers • Active: – The vehicle performs some action to control its attitude.g. – Requires extra hardware (sensors and actuators) – Used when passive control is not possible or sufficient. – Even on nominally passive systems. to flip a gravity gradient satellite or to unload a momentum wheel) – Examples: • • • • • Magnetic Control Momentum Wheels Earth Pointed Inertially Pointed Three Axis Control – Passive systems have the advantage that no action is required to maintain the planned attitude.

Also in SMAD (Wertz.Disturbances • One of the main reasons for needing attitude control is the existence of disturbance torques External – – – – Aerodynamic drag Solar pressure Gravity gradient Magnetic torques A Famous Picture showing environmental Torques versus orbit altitude. Space Mission Analysis and Design). • • Internal – Mechanical vibrations (machinery) – Thermal expansion and contraction – Control/structure interaction ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 34 .

Orbcomm Satellite with Gravity boom. Gravity gradient stabilization involves shaping the satellite so that the corresponding gravity gradient torques maintain the body in the desired orientation. – Many gravity gradient designs are “long and skinny” along the Earth radius vector. hence an offset between the cg and the cm produces a restoring torque about the cm. – Achieves two-axis Earth pointing. • As designers.Passive Stabilization: Gravity Gradient • Basic Idea is to Use the Mass Properties of the satellite to create a restoring torque that wants to orient one axis of the vehicle along the Earth radius vector. – A deployable boom provides GG stability and sensitive electronics (such as a magnetometer) can be placed on the tip. (Launched 1995) • It works because the Earth’s gravity field is directional. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 35 . – Put comm antennas on the nadir (Earth-facing) side.

a deployable mechanism is often required to achieve inertia properties (complex. GG satellites are also neutrally stable (poles on or near the jw-axis of the s-plane). costly. the gravity gradient torque becomes smaller due to the uniform direction of the gravity field. risky). Although passively stable in two axes. • Due to symmetry there are two possible stable configurations. – Usually some additional damping or control mechanism is needed to stiffen the motion. – This means that always present disturbances will create lightly damped. potentially large amplitude oscillations that may be unacceptable. – At high altitudes. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 36 . – An environmental analysis is needed. it can be dominated by other environmental torques. – At LEO torques like drag may be large. • Because the GG torque is small.Limitations of Gravity Gradient Control • • Based on Launch Vehicle. circumventing the desirable control. – You must be able to live with this or include an actuator to flip the satellite if the “wrong” side captures face down.

• Result is a torque that rotates vehicle twice per orbit. it will align itself in the Earth’s field.Passive Stabilization: Permanent Magnets • Earth’s magnetic field is dipole tilted about 11 degrees off axis of rotation. – (N/S Attracts. • Magnetic field of S/C. • Nice if you want a coarse slow rotation for zero power. EMI of magnets. • If S/C has a dipole due to magnets. N/N repels). and environmental torques must be examined. ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 37 .

EyasSat Subsystem Assembly ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 38 . the area of the coil and the magnetic permeability of the material (can be vacuum). If a ferromagnetic material is placed in the center of the loop. The torque generated is given by the number of turns. – “Torque Rod” • If the current is driven outside of the linear range.Active Stabilization: Magnetic Control • • • By Using Current through a coil. it is possible to change the magnetic dipole of the spacecraft. the torque is amplified. the torque rod heats and saturates due to eddy currents. • Allows you to convert electricity into torque-potentially limited only by available power.

Some systems inhibit the controller (so that no torque is generated) since it won’t do anything useful. we have an “uncontrollable situation”. – – If the desired torque happens to lie in this plane.Limitations of Magnetic Control • The torque is generated at right angles to the Earth’s field and to the net magnetic moment of the coils. • • Time Scheduled controls are required to achieve pointing because the Earth’s field changes over the orbit. it is limited to the plane normal to this field at any instant. – Hence we must invert this relationship to solve for the required coil magnetic moment which will yield the desired torque B Plane of possible torques. Torques are limited due to mass/volume/power constraints and strength of Earth’s field – best at LEO Magnetic fields generate EMI that may affect other equipment • ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 39 . T= m x B • Since the output torque will be at right angles to the Earth’s field.

Complex strategies for (3) – Main failure mode = bearing failure. wheel speed is fixed. (3) has the spin axis gimballed (either 1 or 2 dof – 1 dof much more common than 2 dof) – (1) As the wheel speed is changed. (3) for high torque – power consumption at high torques is lower than (1) ) – (2) is used for stabilization (typically. – Wheels must be unloaded. spin axis is along the orbit normal) • Comments – (1) and (3) are typically mounted in clusters. reaction torque acts on S/C. particularly for (1) if the speed cycles through zero ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 40 . • 3 basic types – (1) Reaction wheels – (2) Momentum wheels – (3) CMGs (Controlled Moment Gyros) – (1) and (2) have their spin axes fixed in the S/C body. Reaction torque acts on S/C. For (2). wheel adds “gyro stiffness” to S/C. For (3). wheel speed is fixed but direction of spin axis is changed relative to S/C. • Uses – (1) and (3) are used for attitude control ( (1) for low torque.Active Stabilization: Momentum Wheels Wheels are momentum exchange devices with satellite structure.

g. Hence a roll sensor will tell you about yaw as well. H = I w – i.e.e.Active Stabilization: Momentum Bias • Angular momentum stiffens the spacecraft .e. the pitch axis) is stiff. to get a given attitude change. – – – Roll axis – The roll-yaw stiffness (and coupling) can be exploited to reduce the number of attitude sensors . an external torque must change the direction of a large angular momentum This can simplify the attitude control A common configuration involves putting the angular momentum bias along the orbit normal • • This makes the roll and yaw axes stiff You get a simple pitch control via the momentum bias wheel • Quarter-orbit Coupling – The basic idea is that if the angular momentum vector (i. roll and yaw interchange each quarter orbit. get rid of a yaw sensor Yaw axis ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 41 .

Need a catalytic bed. losing catalyst (usually due to not preheating) • Most common uses – Unload wheels – Stop tumbling (e. complexity and cost).g. Isp is around 200 seconds (lower for short pulses) • Life limiting factors – Useful life limited by the amount of fuel or failure – Failure caused by valve failures.Active Stabilization: Thrusters • Main types – – – – Cold gas (sometimes heated) Monopropellant Bipropellant (in increasing order of specific impulse. after deployment) – To orient vehicle for delta-V (usually a different engine) • Issue with repeatability of torques. mass flow rates ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 42 . leaks. • Most ACS systems that use thrusters use monopropellant hydrazine. freezing.

etc.. • Goal is to check that everything is hooked up properly and that it all plays together Usually hard to do an actual end-to-end ACS test on the ground – Some small satellites have been mounted on air bearings for testing – Most satellites are tested in some hybrid combination of simulation and actual hardware test • Components themselves are tested • Connections are tested • Control system test usually uses a simulation for the S/C dynamics • Hybrid test set-up – Actual location of tap-ins. depends on budget! • Actuators and their electronics Flight computer Sensors and their electronics Auxiliary computer with dynamic simulation – Test is often as complex as flight! ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 43 .Integration and Test Don’t shortchange this important part of the design process.

P.C. J. “Modern Spacecraft Dynamics and Control”.Some Useful References – Hughes. “Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control”.R. M. “Spacecraft Dynamics and Control”. M. Wiley (1986) – Kaplan. Kluwer (1978).H. “Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics”. Cambridge (1997) – Wertz. The End! ASE 372K Attitude Dynamics The University of Texas at Austin 44 . Wiley (1976).J. – Sidi.

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