Drag-Free Motion Control of Satellite for High-Precision Gravity Field Mapping

Bent Lindvig Ziegler, Mogens Blanke, Bent Lindvig Ziegler (Editor), Mogens Blanke (Editor)

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High precision mapping of the geoid and the Earth's gravity field are of importance to a wide range of ongoing studies in areas like ocean circulation, solid Earth physics and ice sheet dynamics. Using a satellite in orbit around the Earth gives the opportunity to map the Earth's gravity field in 3 dimensions with much better accuracy and spatial resolution than ever accomplished. To reach the desired quality of measurements, the satellite must fly in a low Earth orbit where disturbances from atmospheric drag and the Earth's magnetic field will perturb the satellite's motion. These effects will compromise measurement accuracy, unless they are accurately compensated by on-board thrusters. The paper concerns the design of a control system to performing such delicate drag compensation. A six degrees-of-freedom model for the satellite is developed with the model including dynamics of the satellite, sensors, actuators and environmental disturbances to the required micro-Newton accuracy. A control system is designed to compensate the non-gravitational disturbances on the satellite in three axes using an H∞-design. Performance is validated against mission requirements. Keywords: Spacecraft Attitude and Orbit Control, Drag Compensation, Drag-free motion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Control Applications, CCA' 2002
PublisherIEEE Press
Publication date2002
ISBN (Print)0-7803-7386-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Event2002 IEEE Conference on Control Applications - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Sep 200220 Sep 2002


Conference2002 IEEE Conference on Control Applications
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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