Feedback shape control for deployable mesh reflectors using gain scheduling method

Yangmin Xie, Hang Shi, Andrew Alleyne, Bingen Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a theoretical study on the dynamic shape control problem of deployable mesh reflectors (DMRs) via feedback approaches. The reflector structure is simplified from a nonlinear model to be quasi-static with respect to temperature variations but dynamic with respect to mechanical vibrations. The orbital cycle is segmented into multiple temperature zones, and an H robust state feedback controller is designed for each zone to guarantee the local stability of the system under the model uncertainty caused by thermal effects and to reject external force disturbances. At the same time, gain scheduling control method is adopted to compensate thermal distortions and to ensure smooth transition response when switching among the local robust controllers. A DMR model is considered in the case study to show the effectiveness of the control approach. The structural vibrations caused by external force disturbances can be sufficiently suppressed in a much shorter time. The closed loop response of the DMR structure shows that much higher surface accuracy is obtained during the orbiting mission compared to the open-loop configuration, and transient focal length and transient de-focus of the reflector are well controlled within the satisfactory bounds, demonstrating the numerical feasibility of the proposed method to solve the dynamic shape control problem of DMRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalActa Astronautica
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Deployable mesh reflector
  • Dynamic shape control
  • Gain scheduling
  • Surface accuracy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

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