Attitude Control of Dual-Spin Satellites in Low-Earth Orbit via Predictive Control and Magnetic Actuation

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


Science instruments often take up a great amount of power and space within small satellites, which is drawn away from other components including attitude control hardware. This paper explores attitude control of a CubeSat in a dual-spin-stabilized configuration using magnetic actuation, which requires only one reaction wheel and three magnetic torque rods as actuators. The attitude dynamics are described, including important environmental perturbations in low-Earth orbit. This complete configuration is tested in an example inertial pointing mission similar to two university small-satellite projects, where it is assumed that the satellite is able to deviate from its nominal pointing attitude within some allowable pointing cone. Results from a carefully-tuned LQR control law and two different model predictive control (MPC) policies are compared, including linear-quadratic MPC and quadratically-constrained MPC. The MPC policies are equivalent except for the constraint on allowable pointing drift. It was found that MPC can explicitly account for the state and control constraints while utilizing drift within the allowable pointing cone to minimize control effort. The torque rod control input using an MPC policy was reduced by about 5-10x compared to the LQR control law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624107115
StatePublished - 2024
EventAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2024Jan 12 2024

Publication series

NameAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024


ConferenceAIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition, 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Attitude Control of Dual-Spin Satellites in Low-Earth Orbit via Predictive Control and Magnetic Actuation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this