Special Issue "Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Halil Ersin Söken
Website
Guest Editor
TUBITAK Space Technologies Research Institute, Ankara, Turkey
Interests: spacecraft attitude determination and control; spacecraft dynamics; adaptive/robust Kalman filtering algorithms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Attitude determination and control (ADC) systems are one of the key subsystems crucial for the success of any spacecraft mission. Winston Churchill says “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Certainly, “attitude” in our context does not have the same meaning, but what this quote expresses is still true for spacecraft missions. We cannot envision modern spacecraft or expect mission success without a skillfully designed and engineered ADC system. A “few degrees”, which may be insignificant to anyone else, makes a big difference in this context. Such stringent requirements are the main reason for our research, which seeks to improve the performance of ADC systems.

Today we are seeking faster progress in space activities. New mission concepts led by cheap and affordable small satellites are expanding the possibility of space research to more people. As a consequence, spacecraft ADC has become an even more attractive research field. Despite the shrinking sensors and actuators, we need to propose solutions for ADC systems that are as accurate as the ones for larger spacecraft. Interesting problems include, but are not limited to small, highly capable ADC instrumentation enabling the acquisition of high-quality scientific and exploration information, algorithm design to enable higher performance over reasonable mission durations and ADC subsystems and algorithms to operate a swarm of small satellites in constellation.

This Special Issue is focused on highlighting the recent advances in spacecraft ADC with a special interest in the algorithms, methods and system design for small spacecraft. As well as articles proposing novel theories in the field of spacecraft ADC, contributions with practical results for actual missions are very welcomed.

Dr. Halil Ersin Söken
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • actuators
  • attitude control
  • attitude determination
  • attitude estimation
  • control theory
  • guidance, navigation and control
  • Kalman filter
  • nonlinear filtering algorithms
  • sensor calibration
  • small spacecraft
  • system design
  • spacecraft dynamics

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Magnetometer-Only Attitude Determination Strategy for Small Satellites: Design of the Algorithm and Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Aerospace 2020, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7010003 - 05 Jan 2020
Abstract
Attitude determination represents a fundamental task for spacecraft. Achieving this task on small satellites, and nanosatellites in particular, is further challenging, because the limited power and computational resources available on-board, together with the low development budget, set strict constraints on the selection of [...] Read more.
Attitude determination represents a fundamental task for spacecraft. Achieving this task on small satellites, and nanosatellites in particular, is further challenging, because the limited power and computational resources available on-board, together with the low development budget, set strict constraints on the selection of the sensors and the complexity of the algorithms. Attitude determination is obtained here from the only measurements of a three-axis magnetometer and a model of the Geomagnetic field, stored on the on-board computer. First, the angular rates are estimated and processed using a second-order low-pass Butterworth filter, then they are used as an input, along with Geomagnetic field data, to estimate the attitude matrix using an unsymmetrical TRIAD. The computational efficiency is enhanced by arranging complex matrix operations into a form of the Faddeev algorithm, which is implemented using systolic array architecture on the FPGA core of a CubeSat on-board computer. The performance and the robustness of the algorithm are evaluated by means of numerical analyses in MATLAB Simulink, showing pointing and angular rate accuracy below 10° and 0.2°/s. The algorithm implemented on FPGA is verified by Hardware-in-the-loop simulation, confirming the results from numerical analyses and efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Dot Product Equality Constrained Attitude Determination from Two Vector Observations: Theory and Astronautical Applications
Aerospace 2019, 6(9), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6090102 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, the attitude determination problem from two vector observations is revisited, incorporating the redundant equality constraint obtained by the dot product of vector observations. Analytical solutions to this constrained attitude determination problem are derived. It is found out that the studied [...] Read more.
In this paper, the attitude determination problem from two vector observations is revisited, incorporating the redundant equality constraint obtained by the dot product of vector observations. Analytical solutions to this constrained attitude determination problem are derived. It is found out that the studied two-vector attitude determination problem by Davenport q-method under the dot product constraint has deterministic maximum eigenvalue, which leads to its advantage in error/perturbation analysis and covariance determination. The proposed dot product constrained two-vector attitude solution is applied then to solve several engineering problems. Detailed simulations on spacecrafts attitude determination indicate the efficiency of the proposed theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Symmetric Gyroscope Skewed Pyramids
Aerospace 2019, 6(9), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6090098 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The novel contribution in this manuscript is an expansion of the current state-of-the-art in the geometric installation of control moment gyroscopes beyond the benchmark symmetric skewed arrays and the four asymmetric arrays presented in recent literature. The benchmark pyramid symmetrically skewed at 54.73 [...] Read more.
The novel contribution in this manuscript is an expansion of the current state-of-the-art in the geometric installation of control moment gyroscopes beyond the benchmark symmetric skewed arrays and the four asymmetric arrays presented in recent literature. The benchmark pyramid symmetrically skewed at 54.73 degrees mandates significant attention to singularity avoidance, escape, and penetration, while the most recent four asymmetric arrays are strictly useful in instances where space is available to mount at least one gyro orthogonal to the others. Skewed arrays of gyros and the research-benchmark are introduced, followed by the present-day box-90 and “roof” configurations, where the roof configuration is the first prevalently used asymmetric geometry. Six other asymmetric options in the most recent literature are introduced, where four of the six options are obviously quite useful. From this inspiration, several dozen discrete options for asymmetric installations are critically evaluated using two figures of merit: maximum momentum (saturation) and maximum singularity-free momentum. Furthermore, continuous surface plots are presented to provide readers with countless (infinite) options for geometric installations. The manuscript firmly establishes many useful options for engineers who learn that the physical space on their spacecraft is insufficient to permit standard installations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control)
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