Station-keeping for a solar sail during lander/probe deployment using feedback control

Moore, I. , Ceriotti, M. and McInnes, C. R. (2022) Station-keeping for a solar sail during lander/probe deployment using feedback control. Acta Astronautica, 201, pp. 182-197. (doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2022.09.005)

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Due to its propellantless nature, a solar sail can provide the primary propulsion system for a high energy mission, such as that of a multiple asteroid rendezvous. Upon arrival at an asteroid, it is often desirable to interact with the surface of the body, such as for sample extraction. The deployment of a lander from a solar sail carries the difficulty of an instantaneous, and sometimes considerable, change to the system dynamics at the point of separation. This paper investigates the effects of changing sail performance during the release of multiple “ChipSat” probes as well as a large MASCOT-type lander and the control of the sail into a positional hold at an equilibrium point or periodic orbit. In one scenario, 20 ChipSat probes are released, with one-hour spacing between each release. The sail is then controlled to maintain the sailcraft close to the initial deployment point. The performance of a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) is compared with maintaining a fixed sail attitude after deployment. In a second scenario, at the point of separation of the larger MASCOT-type lander, there will be a considerable instantaneous change in the sail characteristic acceleration, as opposed to the gradual small change for the staggered deployment of the small ChipSat probes. It is shown that the Time-Delayed Feedback Control (TDFC) method is effective in controlling the orbit of the sail after this deployment. The sail converges to an orbit in the same region of phase space when deployment is made from both a lower and higher inclination orbit.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:CM is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Chair in Emerging Technologies scheme. IM is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant number 2126307.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moore, Mr Iain and Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Moore, I., Ceriotti, M., and McInnes, C. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Acta Astronautica
ISSN (Online):1879-2030
Published Online:06 September 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Acta Astronautica 201: 182-197
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
306654Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging TechnologiesColin McInnesRoyal Academy of Engineering (RAE)02/08/2019ENG - Systems Power & Energy
172865EPSRC DTP 16/17 and 17/18Mary Beth KneafseyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N509668/1Research and Innovation Services
305200DTP 2018-19 University of GlasgowMary Beth KneafseyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R513222/1MVLS - Graduate School