Batch Algorithm for Balancing the Air Bearing Platform

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1196)


This paper discusses the process of balancing the satellite simulator mounted on the spherical air bearing table. In order to accurately simulate the satellite motion with such a test stand it is necessary to bring the Center Of Mass (COM) of the system as close as possible to the Center Of Rotation (COR) of the air bearing by moving the balancing masses. This calibration process reduces the gravity torque influencing the system movements. A new batch method of determining the COM of the balancing platform is proposed, allowing for its later adjustment. The novelty of the method comes from the idea that the freely rotating system model can be divided into rigid part for which the center of mass is constant, and the balancing masses constituting the variable influence on the COM. Advantage of this approach is the fact, that while gathering data for the batch calibration counterweights can be actuated in a known way, which turns out to greatly improve the estimation precision. Potential disadvantage is, that estimate of the masses and paths of movement of the counterweights is required, which in practice constitutes additional sources of error. Sensitivity analysis is performed to asses the viability of this trade-of considering the inaccuracies in the balance masses paths, as well as sensor noises and misalignment.


Air bearing table Small satellites Attitude determination and control 


  1. 1.
    Zajac, F., Small, D.: A linearized analysis and design of an automatic balancing system for the three-axis air bearing table. Technical report, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (1963)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kim, J.J., Agrawal, B.N.: Automatic mass balancing of air-bearing-based three-axis rotational spacecraft simulator. J. Guid. Control Dyn. 32(3), 1005–1017 (2009). Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chesi, S., Gong, Q., Pellegrini, V., Cristi, R., Romano, M.: Automatic mass balancing of a spacecraft three-axis simulator: analysis and experimentation. J. Guid. Control Dyn. 37(1), 197–206 (2014). Scholar
  4. 4.
    Xuan, H.T., Chemori, A., Anh, T.P., Xuam, H.L., Hoai, T.P., Viet, P.V.: From PID to L1 adaptive control for automatic balancing of a spacecraft three-axis simulator. Int. J. Emerg. Technol. Adv. Eng. 6(1), 77–86 (2016)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Young, J.: Balancing of a small satellite attitude control simlator on an air bearing (1998)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Keim, J.A., Aqikmese, A.B., Shields, J.F.: Spacecraft inertia estimation via constrained least squares. In: IEEE Aerospace Conference. IEEE (2006).
  7. 7.
    Prado, J., Bisiacchi, G., Reyes, L., Vicente, E., Contreras, F., Mesinas, M., Juarez, A.: Three-axis air-bearing based platform for small satellite attitude determination and control simulation. J. Appl. Res. Technol. 3(03) (2005).
  8. 8.
    Li, Y., Gao, Y.: Equations of motion for the automatic balancing system of 3-DOF spacecraft attitude control simulator. In: 3rd International Symposium on Systems and Control in Aeronautics and Astronautics. IEEE, June 2010.
  9. 9.
    Wolosik, A.T.: Advancements in the design and development of CubeSat attitude determination and control testing at the Virginia tech space systems simulation laboratory. Master’s thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute (2018)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kato, T., Heidecker, A., Dumke, M., Theil, S.: Three-axis disturbance-free attitude control experiment platform: face. Trans. Jpn. Soc. Aeronaut. Space Sci. 12, 1–6 (2014). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schwartz, J.L., Hall, C.D.: System identification of a spherical air-bearing spacecraft simulator. In: Proceedings of the AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Conference, no. AAS 2004-122 (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Saltelli, A., Ratto, M., Andres, T., Capolongo, F., Cariboni, J., Gatelli, D., Saisana, M., Tarantola, S.: Global Sensitivity Analysis: The Premier. Wiley, Hoboken (2009)zbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AGH University of Science and TechnologyKrakowPoland

Personalised recommendations