TR2020-153

Electric Satellite Station Keeping, Attitude Control, and Momentum Management by MPC


    •  Caverly, R., Di Cairano, S., Weiss, A., "Electric Satellite Station Keeping, Attitude Control, and Momentum Management by MPC", IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, December 2020.
      BibTeX TR2020-153 PDF
      • @article{Caverly2020dec,
      • author = {Caverly, Ryan and Di Cairano, Stefano and Weiss, Avishai},
      • title = {Electric Satellite Station Keeping, Attitude Control, and Momentum Management by MPC},
      • journal = {IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology},
      • year = 2020,
      • month = dec,
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2020-153}
      • }
  • MERL Contacts:
  • Research Areas:

    Control, Dynamical Systems, Optimization

We propose a model predictive control (MPC) policy for simultaneous station keeping, attitude control, and momentum management of a low-thrust nadir-pointing geostationary satellite equipped with reaction wheels and on-off electric thrusters mounted on boom assemblies. Attitude control is performed using an inner-loop SO(3)-based control law with the reaction wheels, while the outer-loop MPC policy maintains the satellite within a narrow station keeping window and performs momentum management using electric thrusters. For reducing propellant consumption, our MPC uses two different prediction horizons: a short horizon for the states associated with the orbit’s inclination and a longer horizon for all other states. Furthermore, to handle the on-off nature of the thruster while retaining low computational burden, we develop a strategy for quantizing the continuous thrust command, which also allows for trading off the number thrust pulses and fuel consumption. We validate the controller in a closed-loop simulation with the high-precision orbit propagation provided by the Systems Tool Kit (STK), and assess the robustness to model uncertainty and measurement noise.