Station keeping and momentum management of low-thrust satellites using MPC

    •  Weiss, A., Kalabić, U., Di Cairano, S., "Station keeping and momentum management of low-thrust satellites using MPC", Aerospace Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1016/​j.ast.2018.02.014, Vol. 76, pp. 229-241, May 2018.
      BibTeX TR2018-048 PDF
      • @article{Weiss2018may,
      • author = {Weiss, Avishai and Kalabić, Uroš and Di Cairano, Stefano},
      • title = {Station keeping and momentum management of low-thrust satellites using MPC},
      • journal = {Aerospace Science and Technology},
      • year = 2018,
      • volume = 76,
      • pages = {229--241},
      • month = may,
      • publisher = {Elsevier},
      • doi = {10.1016/j.ast.2018.02.014},
      • url = {}
      • }
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This work proposes a Model Predictive Control (MPC) policy for simultaneous station keeping and momentum management of a low-thrust nadir-pointing satellite in geostationary orbit around the Earth. The satellite is equipped with six electrically powered thrusters and three axisymmetric reaction wheels, which must be coordinated to control the satellite orbital position and, concurrently, unload the wheels' stored angular momentum. The MPC policy enforces constraints that maintain the satellite in a tight latitude and longitude window and in a tight nadir-pointing attitude configuration, while minimizing the delta-v provided by the thrusters. The MPC policy exploits a prediction model of the environmental disturbance forces in order to significantly reduce the delta-v required for station keeping, and enforces constraints determined by the thruster configuration to select control forces and torques that can be generated by the propulsion system. Numerical simulations of the control policy in closed-loop with the satellite nonlinear dynamics under high-precision orbit propagation provided by Systems Tool Kit (STK) that validate the performance of the proposed design in terms of thruster usage and constraint enforcement are presented.


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    •  TALK   MERL Low-Thrust GEO Satellite Control talk at Stanford University
      Date & Time: Thursday, February 14, 2019; 1:30 -3:00 PM
      Speaker: Avishai Weiss, MERL
      MERL Hosts: Stefano Di Cairano; Uroš Kalabić; Avishai Weiss
      Research Area: Control
      • Avishai Weiss from MERL's Control and Dynamical Systems group will give a talk at Stanford's Aeronautics and Astronautics department titled: "Low-Thrust GEO Satellite Station Keeping, Attitude Control, and Momentum Management via Model Predictive Control". Electric propulsion for satellites is much more fuel efficient than conventional methods. The talk will describe MERL's solution to the satellite control problems deriving from the low thrust provided by electric propulsion.