Large angle satellite attitude maneuvers
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abstract

Two methods are proposed for performing large angle reorientation maneuvers. The first method is based upon Euler's rotation theorem; an arbitrary reorientation is ideally accomplished by rotating the spacecraft about a line which is fixed in both the body and in space. This scheme has been found to be best suited for the case in which the initial and desired attitude states have small angular velocities. The second scheme is more general in that a general class of transition trajectories is introduced which, in principle, allows transfer between arbitrary orientation and angular velocity states. The method generates transition maneuvers in which the uncontrolled (free) initial and final states are matched in orientation and angular velocity. The forced transition trajectory is obtained by using a weighted average of the unforced forward integration of the initial state and the unforced backward integration of the desired state. The current effort is centered around practical validation of this second class of maneuvers. Of particular concern is enforcement of given control system constraints and methods for suboptimization by proper selection of maneuver initiation and termination times. Analogous reorientation strategies which force smooth transition in angular momentum and/or rotational energy are under consideration.