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Spacecraft Design

Dr. Moazam Maqsood


moazam@ist.edu.pk

Attitude Control System (ACS)

6/2/15

Attitude Control System


(ACS)
Feedback Control System
Attitude measurement through sensors
Attitude correction through actuators
Control system or control law

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Attitude Control System


Disturbances that make attitude
control necessary
Torques from solar pressure
Aerodynamics
Magnetic fields
Gravity gradients
Spacecraft activities

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Spin-Stabilized System
Takes advantage of inherent resistance of
spinning body
No disturbance Momentum vector
remains fixed in inertial space
Disturbance vector parallel to momentum
axis causes spin rate to change
Disturbance vector parallel to momentum
axis causes momentum vector to precess

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Spin-Stabilized System
Advantages
Simple, Low cost
Thrust vector control is not required
Spinning supplies scanning motion; necessary for
some instruments

Disadvantage
Pointing accuracy is low
Tight control of moment of inertia is required
Only possible location for solar panels is spinning
body exterior; the area is not exposed to sun all
the time (32%)
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Dual-Spin System
Improves the pointing accuracy of
spin stabilized system
Offers the advantages of a spin
stabilized system
Despin drive assembly is expensive and
failure prone

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Three-Axis Stabilized
System
A typical system uses gyros as
inertial reference and updates them
periodically using star scanning or
horizon scanning
Attitude errors are removed using
reaction wheels
Thrusters are used to provide
positive or negative translations
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Three-Axis Stabilized
System
Advantages
Unlimited pointing capability
Best possible pointing accuracy (>0.001 deg)
Solar panel location and size is not restricted
Can be oriented to illuminate maximum solar panel
area

Disadvantages
Complex, Heavy and High power consumption
More chances of system failure
Thrust vector controlling is required
Redundancy is required
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Gravity-Gradient System
Aligns the spacecraft long vector to the
gravity vector
Gravity gradient torques should be greater
than any other disturbances
Moment of inertia about any 2 axes should
be greater than moment about 3 rd axis
Can be used only under 1000 km
Useful when long life and high reliability
are required
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Gravity gradient
stabilization

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Momentum Bias Systems


Uses a momentum wheel to provide
stiffness in two axes, control in the
third one
Useful for Nadir pointing
Simple and cheaper
Maneuvering capability is very
limited

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Disturbance Torques
Solar Torque (35000 km and above)
Momentum exchange between a solar photon
and the spacecraft

Magnetic Torque (500 to 35000 km)


Magnetic field of earth and other celestial bodies

Gravity Gradient Torque (500 to 35000 km)


Imbalance of gravitational pull on the spacecraft

Aerodynamic Drag (< 500 km)


Source of torque as well as velocity reduction in
LEO
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Solar Torque
Momentum exchange between the solar photon
and spacecraft
A force is exerted on the surface
Absorption
Force will be aligned with the sun vector

Specular reflection
Force exerted is normal to the surface

Diffuse reflection
Absorption and reradiation distributed uniformly over
a hemisphere
Net force is exerted normal to the surface
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Solar Torque
Absorption
Specular reflection

Diffuse reflection

Ps = Is/c
Is = Incident solar pressure
(1376 W/m2)
Ps = solar pressure (N/m2)
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q = reflectance factor
(0~1)
L = centroid of the surface
to center of the mass
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Example 5.1

Ts = ?

Solar panel = 9 m2
Spacecraft = 1 m2
Attaching Boom = 0.25 m
Angle b/w Sun vector and spacecraft
normal = 20 deg
q = 0.3
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Magnetic Torque
of any (external) magnetic field on
Torque

a current carrying coil

N = no. of coil turns


I = current in the coil
A = coil area
B = Earths Magnetic field
= angle between magnetic field lines
and coil perpendicular
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Magnetic Torque
Residual

magnetic field of a
spacecraft is the result of current
loops and residual magnetism in the
metal parts

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Earth magnetic field



B0 = Geo-magnetic field at sea level =
3 x 10-5 T
r0 = radius of earth
r = desired altitude
L = latitude in the magnetosphere
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Example 5.2
Spacecraft residual dipole = 2 A-m2
Altitude = 400 km in equatorial orbit
Magnitude of Magnetic moment = ?

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Gravity Gradient Torque



For maximum torque use the least of
Ix ,y (Ix or Iy)
= angle between spacecraft z-axis
and Nadir vector

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Example 5.3
Estimate the gravity gradient torque on
Skylab
Mass = 90,505 kg
Height = 35 m
Diameter = 5.4 m
Radius = 2.7 m
Altitude = 442 km
Radius = 5820 km
Attitude error = 5 deg (0.087266 rad)
Iz = Wr2/2 , Ix,y = W(3r2+h2)/12
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Aerodynamic Drag
Drag force produces torque as well
as reduces velocity
= Atmospheric density kg/m3
Cd= drag coefficient (depends upon
shape, usually 2.5)
A = Area normal to the velocity vector

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Example 5.4

400 km circular orbit


Drag force on 9 m2 solar panel = ?
Velocity at 400 km = 7.669 km/s
Atm. Density = 1.2 x 10-11 kg/m3

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Spacecraft Generated
Torques
Pointing rotation of solar panels /
antennas / cameras
Deployment of solar panels /
antennas
Propellant slosh
Flexible appendages
Reaction wheel imbalance

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System Sizing
Actuator sizing is dependent upon the
combined magnitude of disturbance torques
Actuator must have sufficient authority to
counteract the disturbance
An actuator with twice the capability of
disturbance torques would have 100%
control authority
Once the actuators are decided the required
resources for the mission life must be
analyzed
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Attitude Determination
Methods
Spacecraft axes must be located with
respect to a reference frame
+Z axis is anti-Nadir (parallel to r)
+X axis in direction of motion (parallel to V)
+Y axis (parallel to r x V direction)

Euler angles
Relationship between reference frame and
the spacecraft frame are defined by three
rotation angles
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Attitude Determination
Methods

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Euler Angles
Set of three angles and a sequence
of rotation such that one coordinated
system can be rotated into another
Both magnitude and sequence of
rotation are important
Altering the sequence can change the
resulting rotation
12 different Euler sets result in the same
relative position
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Euler Angles

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Direction Cosine Matrix


(DCM)
Product of three Euler rotations

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DCM to Euler angles

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Disadvantage of DCM
Performing a rotation requires
27 Multiplications
15 Additions
29 Trigonometric Evaluations

Require large memory and intensive


computations
Use Quaternions
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Quaternions
Alternative

to DCM
Uses Eulers theorem
Any series of rotations of a rigid body
can be expressed as a single rotation
about a fixed axis

Orientation of body can be defined


by a vector
A scalar angle defines rotation about
that fixed axis
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