Parameter Uncertainty Analysis in Precise Pointing Control of Flexible Spacecraft

János Bezsilla*, Bela Takarics, Bálint Vanek, Jian Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

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This article focuses on the validation of a classical PID controller scheme for flexible spacecraft with regards to the effect of parameter uncertainty on system stability and pointing precision. A high-fidelity simulation environment with external disturbances was built in Simulink using a control-oriented model of an Earth-observing satellite with a flexible appendage and on-board microvibration sources in orbit around the planet. Then, a PID control loop was designed with sensor dynamics, time delay behaviour, and a smooth trajectory generator. After declaring the natural frequencies, damping ratio, and rotation angle of the appendage, as well as the propellant tank mass to be uncertain, two worst-case scenarios were identified. Comparing the response of worst-case systems with nominal settings, only a minor drop has been found in the phase margins, with little to no difference in the pointing errors (smaller than ±2 arcsec for both roll and pitch).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event10th Vienna International Conference on Mathematical Modelling, MATHMOD 2022 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 27 Jul 202229 Jul 2022


  • attitude tracking
  • flexible spacecraft
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • parameter uncertainty
  • PID control
  • precise pointing control


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