Control of a dumbbell spacecraft using attitude and shape control inputs only

Amit K. Sanyal, Jinglai Shen, N. Harris McClamroch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

22 Scopus citations


An elastic dumbbell spacecraft is assumed to consist of two identical mass particles that are connected by a long elastic link. The motion of the dumbbell spacecraft can be described by orbit, attitude and shape dynamics that arise due to gravitational forces, an elastic restoring force along the longitudinal axis of the spacecraft, and control forces that act to change the attitude and shape of the spacecraft. These control forces have the property that there is no net external force on the dumbbell spacecraft. Since the angular momentum of the spacecraft is necessarily conserved, Routh reduced equations of motion are developed that describe the reduced dynamics of the controlled spacecraft. The reduced equations of motion are developed; relative equilibria are determined, and simplified reduced equations, in a linear form, are obtained. These linear reduced equations demonstrate spacecraft controllability properties. It is shown that certain maneuvers, involving a change in orbit, can be accomplished using only attitude and shape control inputs. The proposed framework can be used to study this propulsion force approach to orbital maneuvers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference (AAC)
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference (AAC) - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Jun 30 2004Jul 2 2004

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


OtherProceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference (AAC)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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