Stable Spinning Deployment Control of a Triangle Tethered Formation System

Fan Zhang, He Zhou, Panfeng Huang, Jian Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The tethered formation system has been widely studied due to its extensive use in aerospace engineering, such as Earth observation, orbital location, and deep space exploration. The deployment of such a multitethered system is a problem because of the oscillations and complex formation maintenance caused by the space tether's elasticity and flexibility. In this article, a triangle tethered formation system is modeled, and an exact stable condition for the system's maintaining is carefully analyzed, which is given as the desired trajectories; then, a new control scheme is designed for its spinning deployment and stable maintenance. In the proposed scheme, a novel second-order sliding mode controller is given with a designed nonsingular sliding-variable. Based on the theoretical proof, the addressed sliding variable from the arbitrary initial condition can converge to the manifold in finite time, and then sliding to the equilibrium in finite time as well. The simulation results show that compared with classic second sliding-mode control, the proposed scheme can speed up the convergence of the states and sliding variables.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Mathematical model
  • Orbits
  • Sliding mode control
  • Space missions
  • Space stations
  • Space vehicles
  • Spinning
  • Stable and spinning deployment
  • tethered satellites system
  • triangle formation


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