Modeling and Control of a PowerSail Conference Paper uri icon


  • PowerSail is a proposed concept involving a large solar sail connected to a host satellite by a robotic "arm" housing an electrical conductor. The "arm" consists of seven links and an equal number of actively controlled joints. This paper addresses the modeling of the system dynamics and the design of orbit and rotational control laws to achieve the objectives of the mission, which are to point the sail at the sun and minimize the reaction transmitted onto the host. The multi-body dynamic model includes the effects of solar radiation pressure and gravity gradient torque. The control action and dynamics of the sail and the links are determined assuming that the attitude of the host is perfectly controlled or its attitude behavior is specified. Kinematic inversion is performed first, to obtain the required angular velocity of the sail and the joint angular rates. The acceleration commands are obtained by using a control law to track the desired velocities. Subsequently, the dynamic model is inverted to compute the nominal control forces and moments. Simulation results for various test cases are presented and the results are analyzed. 2002 by the author(s).

name of conference

  • AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit

published proceedings

  • AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit

author list (cited authors)

  • Naik, K., Vadali, S., & Alfriend, K.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Naik, Kishore||Vadali, Srinivas||Alfriend, Kyle

publication date

  • August 2002