Small Satellites

Orbital and attitude dynamics and control


         One of the research activities carried out by Department of attitude motion control of Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics is dynamics and motion control of small satellites study. Microsatellites are characterized by rather limited capacity for identification and motion control due to small mass, size, energy resources and computing power of such spacecrafts. This should be taken into account when one chooses motion determination and control algorithms, measuring elements and actuators. At the same time small mass and size of the satellites allow to carry out laboratory tests of dynamic models, determination and control algorithms, control system components and even whole satellites in laboratory environment. 

       We deal with wide range of problems related to perspective microsatellite missions, development of satellite systems and single spacecraft as well as their laboratory simulation and flight dynamics tests. These problems include:

  • motion around the center of mass and angular motion control with use of passive and active methods;
  • orbital motion of the satellite center of mass under external forces and control actions;
  • satellites motion control in group (so called formation flying configurations) including determination and control of the satellites attitude motion in formation and the angular motion;
  • orbital motion control in interplanetary missions to planets and asteroids with use of thruster engines, gravity-assist maneuvers near planets, angular motion control for thrust vector orientation and gyroscopic actuators desaturation;
  • dynamics simulation at laboratory facilities, development of laboratory equipment and research methods, testing and measurements processing.