Agent-based algorithm for fault detection and recovery of gyroscope's drift in small satellite missions

Johan Carvajal-Godinez, Jian Guo*, Eberhard Gill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Failure detection, isolation, and recovery is an essential requirement of any space mission design. Several spacecraft components, especially sensors, are prone to performance deviation due to intrinsic physical effects. For that reason, innovative approaches for the treatment of faults in onboard sensors are necessary. This work introduces the concept of agent-based fault detection and recovery for sensors used in satellite attitude determination and control. Its focuses on the implementation of an algorithm for addressing linear drift bias in gyroscopes. The algorithm was implemented using an agent-based architecture that can be integrated into the satellite's onboard software. Numerical simulations were carried out to show the effectiveness of this scheme in satellite's operations. The proposed algorithm showed a reduction of up to 50% in the stabilization time for the detumbling maneuver, and also an improvement in the pointing accuracy of up to 20% when it was applied in precise payload pointing procedures. The relevance of this contribution is its added value for optimizing the launch and early operation of small satellite missions, as well as, an enabler for innovative satellite functions, for instance, optical downlink communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalActa Astronautica
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • FDIR
  • Gyroscope drift bias correction
  • Independent component analysis
  • Multi-agent systems
  • Onboard software architecture

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