Nonlinear Adaptive Spacecraft Attitude Control Using Solar Radiation Pressure

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Spacecraft and interplanetary probes orbiting at high altitudes experience forces due to solar radiation pressure, which can be used for maneuvering. The question of large angle pitch attitude maneuvers of satellites using solar radiation torque is considered. For pitch axis maneuver, two highly reflective control surfaces are used to generate radiation moment. The solar radiation moment is a complex nonlinear function of the attitude and parameters of the satellite, the orbital parameters, and the deflection angles of the reflective control surfaces. It is assumed that the parameters of the satellite model are unknown. Based on a backstepping design technique, a nonlinear adaptive control law is derived for the control of the pitch angle. In the closed-loop system, the pitch angle asymptotically tracks prescribed reference trajectories. Simulation results are presented to show that the adaptive control system accomplishes attitude control of the satellite in spite of the parameter uncertainties in the system.


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