The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 215–235 | Cite as

Solar torque estimation for momentum bias spacecraft1

  • Lawrence K. McGovern
  • Philip Hirschberg
  • Xenophon Price


This paper introduces a solar torque estimation algorithm for momentum bias satellites, ultimately benefiting yaw pointing performance and momentum management. A subspace of the solar torque is demonstrated to be unobservable without the use of a rate sensor. By decomposing the solar torque environment into observable and unobservable components, this algorithm may be implemented with or without a rate-sensing gyro. Flight data are presented, sharing recent flight experiences with the algorithm in this paper. This telemetry is derived from several recent, large geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellites, including one with a 12-meter deployable antenna.


Torque Rate Sensor Pitch Axis Earth Sensor Gyro Drift 
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Copyright information

© Springer Automotive Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lockheed Martin Space Systems CompanySunnyvaleUSA
  2. 2.Space Systems/LoralPalo AltoUSA

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