Attitude control of a spacecraft flexible appendage using parallel feedforward control

Robert David Halverson, Ryan James Caverly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


In this paper, static and dynamic strictly positive real (SPR) parallel feedforward control methods are applied to a spacecraft with a large payload attached to the end of a flexible appendage. A dynamic model of this spacecraft is considered with a torque applied directly to the hub of the spacecraft, where the control objective is to track a desired angular velocity of the payload. This setup leads to a noncolocated relationship between the spacecraft hub torque input and the payload angular velocity output. Numerical simulation results demonstrate that the parallel feedforward controller successfully renders the system SPR, which simplifies the choice of a stabilizing feedback controller. It is shown that parallel feedforward control significantly increases the effective gain of the feedback controller within a specified frequency bandwidth. These results are expanded to an experimental rotary flexible joint manipulator, which is used as a physical analog to the flexible-appendage spacecraft. The experimental results confirm the findings from the numerical results, demonstrating the practical nature of the proposed control method. Both numerical and experimental results include a comparison to the state-of-the-art µ-tip control method that relies on a massive payload assumption, where it is shown that parallel feedforward control is implementable in situations where µ-tip control is not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 6 2020Jan 10 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.


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