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Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science
  Volume 1, Number 4, October 2014 , pages 427-441

Attitude control in spacecraft orbit-raising using a reduced quaternion model
Yaguang Yang

    Orbit-raising is an important step to place spacecraft from parking orbits into working orbits. Attitude control system design is crucial in the success of orbit-raising. Several text books have discussed this design and focused mainly on the traditional methods based on single-input single-output (SISO) transfer function models. These models are not good representations for many orbit-raising control systems which have multiple thrusters and each thruster has impact on the attitude defined by all outputs. Only one published article is known to use a more suitable multi-input multi-output (MIMO) Euler angle model in spacecraft orbit-raising attitude control system design. In this paper, a quaternion based MIMO model for the orbit-raising attitude control system design is proposed. The advantages of using quaternion based model for orbit-raising control system designs are (a) there is no need for mathematical transformations because the attitude measurements are normally given by quaternion, (b) quaternion based model does not depend on rotational sequences, which reduces the chance of human errors, and (c) the singular point of reduced quaternion model is the farthest from the operational point where linearization is performed. We will show that performance of quaternion model based design will be as good as the performance of Euler angle model based design for orbit-raising problem.
Key Words
    reduced quaternion model; spacecraft; orbit-raising; attitude control; pulse width modulation
Yaguang Yang : Division of Engineering, Office of Research, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 21 Church Street, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

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