Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 64, Issue 1–2, pp 13–23 | Cite as

Fault-tolerant sliding mode attitude control for flexible spacecraft under loss of actuator effectiveness

  • Qinglei Hu
  • Bing Xiao
Original Paper


In this paper, a novel fault-tolerant attitude control synthesis is carried out for a flexible spacecraft subject to actuator faults and uncertain inertia parameters. Based on the sliding mode control, a fault-tolerant control law for the attitude stabilization is first derived to protect against the partial loss of actuator effectiveness. Then the result is extended to address the problem that the actual output of the actuators is constrained. It is shown that the presented controller can accommodate the actuator faults, even while rejecting external disturbances. Moreover, the developed control law can rigorously enforce actuator-magnitude constraints. An additional advantage of the proposed fault-tolerant control strategy is that the control design does not require a fault detection and isolation mechanism to detect, separate, and identify the actuator faults on-line; the knowledge of certain bounds on the effectiveness factors of the actuator is not used via the adaptive estimate method. The associated stability proof is constructive and accomplished by the development of the Lyapunov function candidate, which shows that the attitude orientation and angular velocity will globally asymptotically converge to zero. Numerical simulation results are also presented which not only highlight the ensured closed-loop performance benefits from the control law derived here, but also illustrate its superior fault tolerance and robustness in the face of external disturbances when compared with the conventional approaches for spacecraft attitude stabilization control.


Fault tolerant Sliding mode control Attitude stabilization Loss of actuator effectiveness Input constraint 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Control Science and EngineeringHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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