Switched attitude control of an underactuated rigid satellite

L. O. Inumoh, A. Pechev, Nadjim Horri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


When a three-axis stabilized rigid satellite loses one of its three principal control torque inputs due to hardware failure, the underactuated satellite has stability and controllability constraints. This phenomenon occurs when there are limited resources (cost, power, mass and size) to accommodate redundant units during the integration of the satellite. The satellite attitude is represented using quaternion parameters to allow for easy on-board computation. We present a comparison of attitude control performance between a time varying control law and a discontinuous control law using two control torques from reaction wheels, following an actuator failure. The control law is based on the concept of angular velocity tracking of a desired angular velocity. A new controller is then proposed and combines ideas of discontinuous and time varying control. In this paper, Lyapunov analysis is used to prove asymptotic stability and numerical simulations are used to demonstrate three- axis stabilization capability with good performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Event62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 3 Oct 20117 Oct 2011


Conference62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

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