Attitude Control of an Underactuated Planar Multibody System Using Momentum Preserving Internal Torques

Trovarelli, F., McRobb, M. , Hu, Z. and McInnes, C. (2020) Attitude Control of an Underactuated Planar Multibody System Using Momentum Preserving Internal Torques. In: 2020 AIAA SciTech Forum, Orlando, FL, USA, 06-10 Jan 2020, AIAA 2020-1686. ISBN 9781624105951 (doi: 10.2514/6.2020-1686)

205080.pdf - Accepted Version



In the last few years interest in versatile reconfigurable arrays for space applications has been growing and several concepts tailored for different mission needs have been proposed. Nevertheless, a compelling application that justifies their higher cost and complexity with respect to conventional systems has not yet been found. Here a novel approach to the design of an Attitude Control System (ACS) for small reconfigurable spacecraft is proposed. It shall exploit momentum-preserving internal torques generated by the modules of the multibody array rotating relative to each other. The goal is to achieve better performance in efficiency, accuracy and robustness with respect to state-of-the-art ACSs, which is a bottleneck of small spacecraft technology. This paper investigates the characteristic behaviour of a planar multibody array whose attitude is controlled using internal joint torques. To do this, relevant reorientation trajectories are shown and discussed. With respect to previous work in the field, optimal attitude control trajectories that take into account module impingement are discussed and the dynamics of momentum-preserving manoeuvres is explained in detail from both physical and mathematical points of view. The results demonstrate that further development of the concept is desirable.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:FT acknowledges a PhD Scholarship from the College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow. CM acknowledges support from a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hu, Dr Zhongxu and McRobb, Dr Malcolm and McInnes, Professor Colin and Trovarelli, Mr Federico
Authors: Trovarelli, F., McRobb, M., Hu, Z., and McInnes, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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