Spacecraft Dynamics

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Never miss a course! The thruster actuation model for mapping smooth allocated input to non-smooth actuator input that achieves equivalent performance is derived. The control law, allocation scheme, and thruster model are tested on the simulator for real-time position tracking control using a Robot Operating System ROS based software framework.

Repository Staff Only: item control page. A Caltech Library Service. More information and software credits. This course in Kinematics covers four major topic areas: an introduction to particle kinematics, a deep dive into rigid body kinematics in two parts starting with classic descriptions of motion using the directional cosine matrix and Euler angles, and concluding with a review of modern descriptors like quaternions and Classical and Modified Rodrigues parameters. The course ends with a look at static attitude determination, using modern algorithms to predict and execute relative orientations of bodies in space.

After this course, you will be able to As they tumble through space, objects like spacecraft move in dynamical ways. Understanding and predicting the equations that represent that motion is critical to the safety and efficacy of spacecraft mission development. Kinetics: Modeling the Motions of Spacecraft trains your skills in topics like rigid body angular momentum and kinetic energy expression shown in a coordinate frame agnostic manner, single and dual rigid body systems tumbling without the forces of external torque, how differential gravity across a rigid body is approximated to the first order to study disturbances in both the attitude and orbital motion, and how these systems change when general momentum exchange devices are introduced.

This course trains you in the skills needed to program specific orientation and achieve precise aiming goals for spacecraft moving through three dimensional space. First, we cover stability definitions of nonlinear dynamical systems, covering the difference between local and global stability. We then analyze and apply Lyapunov's Direct Method to prove these stability properties, and develop a nonlinear 3-axis attitude pointing control law using Lyapunov theory. Finally, we look at alternate feedback control laws and closed loop dynamics.

The goal of this capstone spacecraft dynamics project is to employ the skills developed in the rigid body Kinematics, Kinetics and Control courses. An exciting two-spacecraft mission to Mars is considered where a primary mother craft is in communication with a daughter vehicle in another orbit. The challenges include determining the kinematics of the orbit frame and several desired reference frames, numerically simulating the attitude dynamics of the spacecraft in orbit, and implementing a feedback control that then drives different spacecraft body frames to a range of mission modes including sun pointing for power generation, nadir pointing for science gathering, mother spacecraft pointing for communication and data transfer.

Finally, an integrated mission simulation is developed that implements these attitude modes and explores the resulting autonomous closed-loop performance.

Tasks 1 and 2 use three-dimensional kinematics to create the mission related orbit simulation and the associated orbit frames. The introductory step ensures the satellite is undergoing the correct motion, and that the orbit frame orientation relative to the planet is being properly evaluated. Tasks 3 through 5 create the required attitude reference frame for the three attitude pointing modes called sun-pointing, nadir-pointing and GMO-pointing. The reference attitude frame is a critical component to ensure the feedback control drives the satellite to the desired orientation.

The control employed remains the same for all three pointing modes, but the performance is different because different attitude reference frames are employed.

Flexible spacecraft dynamics (FSD)

Tasks 6 through 7 create simulation routines to first evaluate the attitude tracking error between a body-fixed frame and a particular reference frame of the current attitude mode. Next the inertial attitude dynamics is evaluated through a numerical simulation to be able to numerically analyze the control performance. Tasks simulate the closed-loop attitude performance for the three attitude modes.

Tasks 8 through 10 first simulate a single attitude at a time, while tasks 11 develops a comprehensive attitude mission simulation which considers the attitude modes switching autonomously as a function of the spacecraft location relative to the planet. To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free.

MAE - Fundamentals of Spacecraft Dynamics - Acalog ACMS™

Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device. This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.