Sliding Mode Control of Flexible Spacecraft under Disturbance Torque

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A control system design is presented for large angle rotational manoeuvres of a spacecraft-beam-tip body (an antenna or a reflector) configuration. Although this approach is applicable to three-axis manoeuvres, for simplicity only single-axis control is treated here. It is assumed that an unknown but bounded disturbance torque acts on the spacecraft. A sliding mode attitude control law is derived for slewing of the space vehicle. This slewing control law requires only the attitude error and its derivative for feedback. It does not need any information on the elastic motion of the system. For the damping of the elastic motion, a stabilizer is seperately designed based on the asymptotically decoupled system describing the elastic deflections in two orthogonal planes. Simulation results are presented to show that precise large rotational manoeuvres can be performed using an attitude controller and elastic mode stabilizer in spite of the uncertainty in the system.


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