Space Systems Dynamics

Orbital and attitude dynamics and control

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Grant RSCF № 14-11-00621 "Development of new dynamical models and control algorithms for the orbital and attitude motion of small spacecraft in prospective missions to Moon, planets, and small bodies of Solar System "

Duration: 2014-2016 гг.

Organization: Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of RAS

Project leader – prof. Mikhail Ovchinnikov


    The need of gaining deeper knowledge about the Solar System and the Universe requires the development of tools for the investigation of near and far space. Modern spacecraft play a key role in this process by bringing scientific instruments beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and launching them into orbits around the Earth, other planets and their moons, comets, and asteroids. The first thing a mission designer starts with is the feasibility study when the question should be answered whether the today’s level of onboard systems technology allows trajectory and navigation requirements to be met. 

 The modern trend of miniaturizing spacecraft leads to additional—and sometimes crucial—constraints. Small volume and mass of spacecraft along with strict power limitations force astrodynamics specialists to search for non-standard efficient ways of spacecraft motion control and to use complex mathematical techniques of celestial mechanics and dynamical systems theory. Natural transport mechanisms, such as gravity-assist maneuvers and (un)stable invariant manifolds of libration point (quasi)periodic orbits, appear to be extremely helpful. Furthermore, electric and nuclear low-thrust propulsion systems with high specific impulse and low fuel consumption replace conventional chemical propulsion systems. Among other promising propulsion technologies, one can distinguish the solar sail technology utilizing the unlimited resource of solar radiation. 

 The project proposed is aimed to develop new methods of trajectory design using the modern techniques listed above. It includes building novel dynamical models, station-keeping and navigation control algorithms, as well as attitude control algorithms for precise thrust vector pointing.

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