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Discretized Constrained Attitude Pathfinding and Control for Satellites

Author:
Kjellberg, Henri C.   Lightsey, E. Glenn  


Journal:
Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics


Issue Date:
2013


Abstract(summary):

A general purpose guidance, navigation, and control algorithm is developed for satellites with three degree-of-freedom rotation maneuverability. The algorithm is capable of meeting multiple pointing constraints autonomously by using a combination of constrained attitude pathfinding and control elements. The unit sphere is discretized into a graph using an icosahedron-based pixelization subroutine. An admissible path between attitude keep-out zones is found with the A* pathfinding algorithm. The trajectory is followed using a rate and torque constrained quaternion feedback controller. The algorithm is capable of running in real time on a low-power flight computer. An embedded version of the algorithm has secured flight opportunities on two student-built three-unit CubeSats. Both sets of mission requirements are satisfied with the same three-unit CubeSat attitude control system, demonstrating the algorithm's versatility as a general purpose controller. The autonomy provided by the constrained control algorithm enables more complex satellite missions to be performed and decreases the cost of spacecraft subsystems by shifting requirements away from the hardware and onto the control algorithm.


Page:
1301-1309


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