Acta Mechanica Sinica

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 144–155 | Cite as

Coupling dynamic analysis of spacecraft with multiple cylindrical tanks and flexible appendages

  • Wen-Jun Wu
  • Bao-Zeng YueEmail author
  • Hua Huang
Research Paper


This paper is mainly concerned with the coupling dynamic analysis of a complex spacecraft consisting of one main rigid platform, multiple liquid-filled cylindrical tanks, and a number of flexible appendages. Firstly, the carrier potential function equations of liquid in the tanks are deduced according to the wall boundary conditions. Through employing the Fourier–Bessel series expansion method, the dynamic boundaries conditions on a curved free-surface under a low-gravity environment are transformed to general simple differential equations and the rigid-liquid coupled sloshing dynamic state equations of liquid in tanks are obtained. The state vectors of rigid-liquid coupled equations are composed with the modal coordinates of the relative potential function and the modal coordinates of wave height. Based on the Bernoulli–Euler beam theory and the D’Alembert’s principle, the rigid-flexible coupled dynamic state equations of flexible appendages are directly derived, and the coordinate transform matrixes of maneuvering flexible appendages are precisely computed as time-varying. Then, the coupling dynamics state equations of the overall system of the spacecraft are modularly built by means of the Lagrange’s equations in terms of quasi-coordinates. Lastly, the coupling dynamic performances of a typical complex spacecraft are studied. The availability and reliability of the presented method are also confirmed.

Graphic abstract


Multiple liquid-filled cylindrical tanks The Fourier–Bessel series expansion method Low-gravity environment  Maneuvering flexible appendages The Lagrange’s equations in terms of quasi-coordinates 



The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 11472041, 11302244, 11532002) and Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (2015GXNSFBA139013).


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics; Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Aerospace EngineeringBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Automobile and Traffic EngineeringGuangxi University of Science and TechnologyLiuzhouChina
  3. 3.Satellite Communication DepartmentChina Academy of Space TechnologyBeijingChina

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