Stochastic attitude control of spacecraft under thrust uncertainty

Alen E. Golpashin, Hoong C. Yeong, Koki Ho, N. Sri Namachchivaya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This study aims to address the problem of attitude control of spacecraft in presence of thrust fluctuations, which lead to stochastic accelerations. Many satellites and spacecraft rely on electric propulsion and other low thrust mechanisms to control and maintain attitude. The thrust uncertainty may arise from sources such as power supply fluctuations, varying propellant flow rate, faulty thrusters, etc. Thus, an effective control strategy demands a proper modeling of such phenomena. Most importantly, mission requirement, and mass/fuel limitations require a proactive method of control to mitigate the thrust uncertainty and parasitic torque. In providing a method to mitigate the effect of the input uncertainties, spacecraft angular velocity is stabilized through an optimal stochastic control law. This work is presented as an extension to the classical Al’brekht method and ideas from the normal forms theory to solve the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation associated with a Stochastic Differential Equation. Linear and Nonlinear stochastic control laws along with their performance analysis are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASTRODYNAMICS 2017
EditorsJohn H. Seago, Nathan J. Strange, Daniel J. Scheeres, Jeffrey S. Parker
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780877036456
StatePublished - 2018
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2017 - Stevenson, United States
Duration: Aug 20 2017Aug 24 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


OtherAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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