Example: The TOPS autopilot
The unmanned TOPS is intended to perform scientific investigations of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the late 1970’s. Its configuration (Fig. 9) is dominated by a 14-ft-diam parabolic communications antenna and a bank of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). In addition, a pair of telescoping booms are required to provide separation for sensitive instruments (magnetometers, plasma wave detector, etc.). Much of the remaining scientific instrumentation has been provided viewing area (around the antenna) and separation from RTG radiation by mounting it on a large foldout structure opposite the RTG foldout boom. Finally, central to the craft is an electronic equipment compartment carrying the autopilot’s attitude sensors (high-gain gyros) and actuator (gimbaled engine). It is this portion of the vehicle that will be considered the rigid body to which the flexible appendages (RTG, science, and magnetometer booms; antenna) are attached.
KeywordsLoop Gain Pitch Axis Appendage Mode Flexible Spacecraft Critical Gain
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