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A Nonlinear Magnetic Controller for Three-Axis Stability of Nanosatellites

Kristin L. Makovec

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Christopher Hall, Chair Dr. Frederick Lutze, Committee Member Dr. Mary Kasarda, Committee Member

July 23, 2001 Blacksburg, Virginia

Keywords: Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics, Magnetic Control, Three-Axis Stability Copyright 2001, Kristin L. Makovec

A Nonlinear Magnetic Controller for Three-Axis Stability of Nanosatellites

Kristin L. Makovec

(ABSTRACT)

The problem of magnetic control for three-axis stability of a spacecraft is examined. Two controllers, a proportional-derivative controller and a constant coefficient linear quadratic regulator, are applied to the system of equations describing the motion of the spacecraft. The stability of each is checked for different spacecraft configurations through simulations, and the results for gravity-gradient stable and non gravity-gradient stable spacecraft are compared. An optimization technique is implemented in an attempt to obtain the best performance from the controller. For every spacecraft configuration, a set of gains can be chosen for implementation in the controller that stabilizes the linear and nonlinear equations of motion for the spacecraft.

Contents

Abstract

ii

Table of Contents

iii

List of Figures

viii

List of Tables

xi

Nomenclature

xii

1 Introduction

1

1.1 Problem Statement

 

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1

1.2 Prior Work in Magnetic Attitude Control

 

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1

1.3 Approach and Results

 

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4

1.4 Outline of Thesis

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5

2 Earth’s Magnetic Field

 

6

2.1 Magnetic Fields

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6

2.1.1 Origin and Equations .

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6

2.1.2 Characteristics

 

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8

2.2 Origin and Effects of the Earth’s Magnetic Field

 

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10

2.2.1 Geomagnetic Field

 

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10

2.2.2 Origin of the Magnetic Field .

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14

2.2.3 Variations in the Magnetic Field .

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14

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2.2.4

Effects of the Earth’s Magnetic Field on Spacecraft

 

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19

2.3 Theory and Mathematical Models .

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20

 

2.3.1 Coordinate Systems .

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20

2.3.2 Analytic Models .

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21

2.3.3 Accuracy of Models .

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26

2.4 Measuring Magnetic Fields .

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27

 

2.4.1 Measurement Hardware

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27

2.4.2 Magnetic Field Measurement of Celestial Bodies .

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31

2.4.3 Data Collection for the IGRF

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32

2.5 Magnetic Fields of Other Bodies .

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32

 

2.5.1 Reasons for Examination .

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33

2.5.2 Interstellar Magnetic Field .

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33

2.5.3 Celestial Bodies .

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33

2.6 Summary

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38

3

Spacecraft Dynamics

 

39

3.1 Orbit Dynamics

 

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39

 

3.1.1 Keplerian Orbits

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39

3.1.2 Coordinate Systems .

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45

3.2 Attitude Dynamics

 

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48

 

3.2.1 Reference Frames

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48

3.2.2 Rotations

 

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49

3.2.3 Angular Velocity

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50

3.3 Equations of Motion

 

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51

 

3.3.1 Dynamic Equations of Motion

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51

3.3.2 Kinematic Equations of Motion

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52

3.4 Environmental Disturbance Torques

 

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53

 

3.4.1 Gravity-Gradient Torque .

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54

3.4.2 Magnetic Torque

 

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54

 

iv

3.5 Attitude Determination .

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54

3.5.1 Magnetometers

 

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55

3.5.2 Earth Sensors

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56

3.5.3 Sun Sensors

 

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56

3.5.4 Star Trackers

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56

3.5.5 Gyroscopes

 

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56

3.6 Attitude Control

 

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56

3.6.1 Spin Stabilization .

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57

3.6.2 Three-axis Stabilization

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57

3.6.3 Passive Control

 

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58

3.7 Summary

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59

4 Spacecraft Magnetic Field Interactions

 

60

4.1 Magnetic Torques .

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60

4.1.1 Magnetic Torque Origins .

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60

4.1.2 Magnetic Disturbance Torques .

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63

4.1.3 Magnetic Control Torques

 

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66

4.2 Magnetic Control Hardware

 

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68

4.2.1 Torque Coils .

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68

4.2.2 Torque Rods .

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68

4.2.3 Permanent Magnets

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68

4.3 Magnetic Field and Orbit Interaction

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68

4.3.1 Equatorial Orbits

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69

4.3.2 Polar Orbits

 

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69

4.3.3 Circular Orbits

 

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69

4.4 Time to Slew

 

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71

4.5 Summary

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72

5 Control Laws

73

 

v

5.1 Equations of Motion

 

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73

 

5.1.1 Nonlinear Equations of Motion

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73

5.1.2 Desired Equilibrium Attitude

 

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74

5.1.3 Linearized Equations of Motion Using Euler Angles

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74

5.1.4 Linearized Equations of Motion Using Quaternions

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