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Multi-Scenarios Attitude Control of a Satellite with Flexible Solar Panels

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The development of space mission design requires mathematical modelling and related numerical simulations. These latter are very important to select the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem hardware against the mission requirements for attitude and orbit specifications. In this paper, a nonlinear dynamic modelling framework is presented for one degree of freedom of a flexible spacecraft. The dynamics of the structure are derived in the nonlinear Euler equations form for a circular orbit; the gravity-gradient torque is introduced as an external perturbation. The resulting model is used to perform attitude control precision of the pitch axis rotational manoeuvre, via several simulations for various in-orbit operating scenarios, to highlight the coupling effect between the main body and the flexible panels. For this purpose, the spacecraft is considered as a rigid cubic-body with two flexible solar panels deployed on each side of its roll axis. The simulation results show that the flexible motion of the panels has a substantial impact on the spacecraft dynamical responses, especially when considering the external perturbation effects. A classical controller is implemented to control the system three axes manoeuvres and to suppress the flexible panels’ distortions. Numerical results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed model to demonstrate the coupling effects and the control strategy.
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Flexible Solar Arrays; Modelling and Simulation; Nonlinear Dynamics; Satellite Control

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