Minimum angular-impulse control for a large flexible spacecraft

E. M. Cliff, T. L. Herdman, Z. Y. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Characterization and implementation of efficient rotational motions of flexible spacecraft have been of research interest for more than 20 years. In the present study we consider rest-to-rest pointing maneuvers for a very large spacecraft, so that limits on available angular momentum are paramount A formal system of differential equations is developed based on a model that includes a rigid central hub and Euler-Bernoulli appendages. The model is recast in an appropriate state-space and standard functional analysis methods are used to prove well-posedness and to establish a framework for numerical approximation. Several variants of minimum-angular moment problems are studied; ultimately, we focus on a low-dimensional control parameterization based on a family of versine functions and on quasi-static structural response. Results are characterized in terms of simple formulas and sensitivity with respect to problem data is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency /Special Projects Office, NASA Langley Research Center, and the National Institute of Aerospace under grant VT-03-1, 2535, and in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under grant F49620-03-1-0243. We are grateful to M. Mikulas (National Institute of Aerospace) and T. Murphey (Air Force Research Laboratory/Space Vehicles) for their helpful insights and comments.


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