Dynamics and stability of a freely precessing spacecraft containing a nutation damper Academic Article uri icon


  • The stability of a torque-free inertially symmetric spinning spacecraft containing a partially filled viscous ring nutation damper and the performance of this damper on the removal of the wobble motion of the spacecraft are investigated. The motion behavior about three different relative equilibria are studied. The equations for stability conditions and decay time constant for these three relative equilibria are obtained in explicit form. The effects of parameters of the spacecraft and damper on the stability criteria and decay time constant are quite different for these three equilibria. Numerical solutions show that when the motion about one of these three relative equilibria loses its stability, it converges to either one of the other two, depending on which stability criterion is satisfied.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics

author list (cited authors)

  • Chang, C. O., Liu, L. Z., & Alfriend, K. T.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Chang, CO||Liu, LZ||Alfriend, KT

publication date

  • March 1996