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Title: In orbit calibration of satellite inertia matrix and thruster coefficients
Author: El-Bordany, Refaat
ISNI:       0000 0001 3442 6278
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2001
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In this research study, several new in-orbit algorithms are proposed to improve the performance of Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) by estimating the inertia matrix and calibrating the cold gas thruster system of the UoSAT-12 spacecraft. Computer-based simulation models will be constructed using MATLAB and SIMULINK in order to evaluate the expected performance. The first focus is on the identification of the satellite inertia matrix. A new algorithm based on a Recursive Least Square (RLS) estimation technique is proposed for in-orbit use to estimate the inertia matrix (moments and products of inertia parameters) of a satellite. To facilitate this, one attitude axis is disturbed using a reaction wheel whilst the other two axes are controlled to keep their respective angular" rates small. Within a fraction of an orbit three components of the inertia matrix can be accurately determined. This procedure is then repeated for the other two axes to obtain all nine elements of the inertia matrix. The procedure is designed to prevent the build up of momentum in the reaction wheels, whilst keeping the attitude disturbance to the satellite within acceptable limits. It can also overcome potential errors introduced by unmodeled external disturbance torques and attitude sensor noise. The second focus is on a new algorithm for in-orbit use to calibrate thruster coefficients for thrust level and alignment, using three reaction wheel actuators. These algorithms will ensure robustness against modeling errors. The algorithms assume no prior knowledge of the thruster parameters and only an initial guess of the inertia matrix. It is proposed that this calibration can be used during normal mission conditions when the satellite is stabilised. The final goal of this research study was to apply the proposed algorithms in real-time. Firstly, the thruster calibration algorithm was tested on an air-bearing table. Finally, both thruster calibration and moment of inertia algorithms were tested using data generated by UoSAT-12 while in orbit. The practical estimation results proved the feasibility of proposed algorithms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Orbital; Attitude; Control; ADCS