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Geometric Mechanics Based Modeling of the Attitude Dynamics and Control of Spacecraft With Variable Speed Control Moment Gyroscopes

[+] Author Affiliations
V. Sasi Prabhakaran, Amit K. Sanyal

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Frederick Leve

Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base, NM

N. Harris McClamroch

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Paper No. DSCC2013-4033, pp. V001T02A004; 10 pages
  • ASME 2013 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 1: Aerial Vehicles; Aerospace Control; Alternative Energy; Automotive Control Systems; Battery Systems; Beams and Flexible Structures; Biologically-Inspired Control and its Applications; Bio-Medical and Bio-Mechanical Systems; Biomedical Robots and Rehab; Bipeds and Locomotion; Control Design Methods for Adv. Powertrain Systems and Components; Control of Adv. Combustion Engines, Building Energy Systems, Mechanical Systems; Control, Monitoring, and Energy Harvesting of Vibratory Systems
  • Palo Alto, California, USA, October 21–23, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5612-3
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The attitude dynamics of a spacecraft with a variable speed control moment gyroscope (VSCMG), in the presence of external torques and internal inputs, is derived using variational principles. A complete dynamics model, that relaxes some of the assumptions made in prior literature on control moment gyroscopes, is obtained. A non-standard VSCMG model, that has an offset between the center of the gimbal axis and the center of the rotor (flywheel) is considered. The dynamics equations show the complex nonlinear coupling between the internal degrees of freedom associated with the VSCMG and the spacecraft base body’s attitude degrees of freedom. Some of this coupling is induced by the non-zero offset between the gimbal axis and the rotor center. This dynamics model is then generalized to include the effects of multiple control moment gyroscopes placed in the base body with non-parallel gimbal axes. It is shown that the dynamical coupling can improve the control authority on the angular momentum of the base body of the spacecraft using changes in the momentum variables of the VSCMG. Numerical simulations confirm the use of these VSCMGs for attitude control for a given de-tumbling maneuver.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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