What is it about?
Angular velocity detumbling is one of the very first mission objectives after a small satellite is released from a launch vehicle. Due to stringent constraints on their volume and weight, small spacecraft typically rely on magnetic actuators for attitude control and at times can afford only a single-axis magnetic torquer. This paper proposes an approach to detumble such an underactuated satellite with only a single-axis magnetic coil. The control design exploits Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC). Details of NMPC design, closed-loop stabilizability analysis, and simulation results are reported.
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Why is it important?
This note explores the way to detumble an under-actuated spacecraft using Non-linear Model Predictive Control. There has not been any other paper to investigate how to achieve such a difficult mission with only a single-axis actuator to the best of our knowledge. We have shown how to accomplish such detumbling, the controllability and stability analyses, and the limitation of using a single-magnetic torquer for angular velocity attenuation.
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This page is a summary of: Nonlinear Model Predictive Detumbling of Small Satellites with a Single-Axis Magnetorquer, Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics, March 2021, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), DOI: 10.2514/1.g005877.
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