Modal Truncation for Flexible Spacecraft Academic Article uri icon


  • A hierarchy of dynamical models is identified for large nonspinning flexible spacecraft. At each level, techniques are explained for reducing the order of the model before proceeding to the next level. These techniques have in common the presupposition that the model has at each stage been expressed in terms of its natural modes, some of which can, if necessary, be deleted based on the evaluation of one or more of the quantitative criteria proposed. These criteria are based on insights from several different perspectives, including inertial completeness, frequency relationships, controllability and observability considerations, and the contributions of individual modes to a mission-dependent cost functional (modal cost analysis). With the aid of these criteria, many of the engineering judgments related to model order reduction can be made on a rigorous quantitative basis. 1981 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics

author list (cited authors)

  • Hughes, P. C., & Skelton, R. E.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Hughes, Peter C||Skelton, Robert E

publication date

  • May 1981