Many Earth Observation missions, implementing space-based microwave sensing techniques for collecting surface information, employ spinning sensors to cover large swaths of terrestrial areas, thus improving the rate at which global maps of those measured data are generated. These spacecraft (as Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) developed by NASA or Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) currently under development by Thales Alenia Space) consist of a main non-spun platform and a rotating part composed of an antenna boom, a deployable reflector and a rotation mechanism. As the reflector is designated to rotate about the nadir axis producing conically scanned antenna beams with precise surface incidence angle, the payload pointing accuracy needs to be addressed at both spin subsystem and platform level. In this work, a representative model of the dynamic behaviour of SMAP satellite is developed as a study case to design the proposed control strategies; in particular, a SMAP-like payload structural model is built using FEM commercial codes. The spacecraft is equipped with a Reaction Wheels Assembly (RWA) to accomplish both momentum compensation for the spun element and three-axis attitude control and a motor for the spin mechanism. The objective of the study is to develop the spacecraft control architecture in the frame of Model Predictive Control (MPC) theory. MPC refers to a class of algorithms in which the control action is obtained by computing an open-loop optimal sequence of control moves over a predefined time horizon; moreover, the ability to set constraints on process inputs and outputs directly in the problem formulation allows to account for actuators’ limits. In the study two operative phases of the satellite are addressed: the Spin-up, in which the 6-meter diameter antenna is spun-up to the operative condition of 14.6 RPM, and the Science Phase, in which precise nadir pointing and stability of the flexible system must be kept for acquiring high-resolution measurements. To this purpose, control–structure interaction between attitude/spin control system and flexible dynamics, as well as system's imbalances, are carefully addressed by the proposed control architecture. The nonlinear in-orbit dynamics of the flexible spacecraft is then used to evaluate the performance of the MPC controller in terms of pointing accuracy and robustness to uncertainties.

A model predictive control for attitude stabilization and spin control of a spacecraft with a flexible rotating payload

Iannelli P.
;
Angeletti F.;Gasbarri P.
2022

Abstract

Many Earth Observation missions, implementing space-based microwave sensing techniques for collecting surface information, employ spinning sensors to cover large swaths of terrestrial areas, thus improving the rate at which global maps of those measured data are generated. These spacecraft (as Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) developed by NASA or Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) currently under development by Thales Alenia Space) consist of a main non-spun platform and a rotating part composed of an antenna boom, a deployable reflector and a rotation mechanism. As the reflector is designated to rotate about the nadir axis producing conically scanned antenna beams with precise surface incidence angle, the payload pointing accuracy needs to be addressed at both spin subsystem and platform level. In this work, a representative model of the dynamic behaviour of SMAP satellite is developed as a study case to design the proposed control strategies; in particular, a SMAP-like payload structural model is built using FEM commercial codes. The spacecraft is equipped with a Reaction Wheels Assembly (RWA) to accomplish both momentum compensation for the spun element and three-axis attitude control and a motor for the spin mechanism. The objective of the study is to develop the spacecraft control architecture in the frame of Model Predictive Control (MPC) theory. MPC refers to a class of algorithms in which the control action is obtained by computing an open-loop optimal sequence of control moves over a predefined time horizon; moreover, the ability to set constraints on process inputs and outputs directly in the problem formulation allows to account for actuators’ limits. In the study two operative phases of the satellite are addressed: the Spin-up, in which the 6-meter diameter antenna is spun-up to the operative condition of 14.6 RPM, and the Science Phase, in which precise nadir pointing and stability of the flexible system must be kept for acquiring high-resolution measurements. To this purpose, control–structure interaction between attitude/spin control system and flexible dynamics, as well as system's imbalances, are carefully addressed by the proposed control architecture. The nonlinear in-orbit dynamics of the flexible spacecraft is then used to evaluate the performance of the MPC controller in terms of pointing accuracy and robustness to uncertainties.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1652443
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