Robust Control of Spacecraft: Application to an Actuated Simulator

  • Maryam Malekzadeh
Regular Paper Robot and Applications


In this article, a hardware-in-the-loop implementation of two robust controllers based on high-order sliding mode and μ-synthesis method are performed and compared in terms of performance and functionality. The spacecraft simulator consists of a free-floating platform hinged on a spherical air-bearing support. The proposed scheme makes full use of adaptive super twisting algorithm to alleviate the chattering effects without increasing the control effort; both controllers are adapted to deal with the saturation of reaction wheels with respect to momentum and its rate of change. The ab-initio simulations compared well with the simulator responses, implying that involved instruments including actuators and sensors have been properly emulated. This also proved that the external disturbances were modeled in a reliable manner. The robustness and effectiveness of the proposed scheme have been validated experimentally under extreme circumstances and uncertainties.


Adaptive super twisting algorithm μ-synthesis robust control Spacecraft simulator 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    M. Wilde, B. Kaplinger, T. Go, H. Gutierrez, and D. Kirk, “A simulation environment for spacecraft formation flight, capture, and orbital robotics,” Proc. of IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT,1-14.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    J. Jung, S. Y. Park, S. W. Kim, Y. Eun, and Y. K Chang, “Hardware-in-the-loop simulations of spacecraft attitude synchronization using the state-dependent Riccati equation technique,” Advances in Space Research, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 434–449, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    P. Gasbari, M. Sabatini, and G. B. Palmerini, “Ground tests for vision based determination and control of formation flying spacecraft trajectories,” Acta Astronutica, vol. 102, pp. 378–391, 2014. [click]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Y. Eun, C. Park, and S. Y. Park, “Design and development of ground-based 5-DOF spacecraft formation flying test bed,” Proc. of AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference, AIAA Sci. Tech., pp. 2016-1668, 2016.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    G. Guglieri, F. Maroglio, P. Pellegrino, and L. Torre, “Design and development of guidance, navigation and control design algorithms for spacecraft rendezvous and docking experimentation,” Acta Astronutica, vol. 94, pp. 395–408, 2014. [click]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    M. Wilde, M. Ciarcià, A. Grompone, and M. Romano, “Experimental characterization of inverse dynamics guidance in docking with a rotating target,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 1173–1187, 2016. [click]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    K. Saulnier, D. Pérez, R. C. Huang, D. Gallardo, G. Tilton, and R. Bevilacqua, “A six-degree-of-freedom hardware-inthe-loop simulator for small spacecraft,” Acta Astronautica, vol. 105, no. 2, 2014. [click]Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    L. Guarnaccia, R. Bevilacqua, and S. P. Pastorelli, “Suboptimal LQR-based spacecraft full motion control, theory and experimentation,” Acta Astronautica, vol. 122, pp. 114–136, May-June 2016. [click]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    S. Chesi, O. Perez, and M. Romano, “A dynamic, hardware-in-the-loop, three-axis simulator of spacecraft attitude maneuvering with nano satellite dimensions,” Journal of Small Satellite, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 315–328, 2015.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Y. Shtessel, C. Edwards, L. Fridman, and A. Levant, Sliding Mode Control and Observation, Springer New York, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    P. M. Tiawari, S. Janadhanan, and M. U. Nabi, “Rigid spacecraft attitude control using adaptive integral second order sliding mode,” Aerospace Science Technology, vol. 42, pp. 50–57, 2015. 11. [click]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    C. Pukdeboon, “Output feedback second order sliding mode control for spacecraft attitude and translation motion,” International Journal of Control, Automation and Systems, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 411–424, 2016. [click]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    H. Castañeda, O. S. Salas-Peña, and J. de León-Morales, “Robust flight control for a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle using adaptive super-twisting approach,” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, vol. 228, no. 12, pp. 2310–22, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Q. Dong, Q. Zong, B. Tian, and F. Wang, “Adaptive-gain multivariable super-twisting sliding mode control for reentry RLV with torque perturbation,” International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, 2016.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    J. Doyle, B. Francis, and A. T. Boyd, Feedback Control Theory, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1990.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    A. Hassani, F. Saghafi, and M. Passand, “H and m- synthesis control of virtual structure satellite formation flying,” International Journal of Dynamics and Control, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 741–755, 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    M. Malekzadeh, A. Naghash, and H. A. Talebi, “Robust attitude and vibration control of a nonlinear flexible spacecraft,” Asian Journal of Control, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 553–563, 2012. [click]MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    M. J. Sidi, Spacecraft Dynamics and Control a Practical Engineering Approach, Cambridge University Press, 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    Y. Shtessel, M. Taleb, and F. Plestan, “A novel adaptivegain super twisting sliding mode controller, methodology and application,” Automatica, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 759–69, 2012.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Control, Robotics and Systems and The Korean Institute of Electrical Engineers and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of IsfahanIsfahanIran

Personalised recommendations