Small-Satellite Attitude Control Using Piecewise-Sinusoidal Controls in the Presence of Disturbance Torques

Roshan A. Chavan, T. M. Seigler, Jesse B. Hoagg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper addresses small-satellite attitude control in the presence of external disturbance torques using internal rotating-mass actuators. Unlike reaction wheels, these rotating-mass actuators cannot perform complete rotations. Instead, their stroke is limited to a radians of total rotation. We present a setpoint tracking control algorithm that uses feedback of the satellite's attitude and angular velocity to determine the control signals, which are the angles of the rotating-mass actuators relative to the satellite's body. This feedback algorithm yields control signals that are continuous but only piecewise-continuously differentiable sinusoids. We analyze the stability and performance of the closed-loop system for the case where no external torque is acting on the satellite. We present three numerical simulations to demonstrate the setpoint tracking attitude controller: i) a satellite in low-Earth orbit neglecting aerodynamic moment; ii) a satellite in low-Earth orbit including aerodynamic moment; and iii) a satellite on an air-bearing on Earth, which results in a moment due to gravity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781665441971
StatePublished - May 25 2021
Event2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021 - Virtual, New Orleans, United States
Duration: May 25 2021May 28 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, New Orleans

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NSSC17M0040) and the National Science Foundation (CMMI-1538782).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Automatic Control Council.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Small-Satellite Attitude Control Using Piecewise-Sinusoidal Controls in the Presence of Disturbance Torques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this