Optimal reorientation of a multibody spacecraft through joint motion using averaging theory

W. Todd Cerven, V. Coverstone-Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The problem of reorienting a multibody spacecraft using appendage joint motion alone is addressed. Averaging theory shows that small periodic actuation of such appendages results in a secular movement of the system in a direction independent of that of the control vectors. The secular variation is controllable through choice of control profiles. Using optimal control theory, an analytic control algorithm that minimizes the required control effort is developed for a four-link multibody system having zero angular momentum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1579-1598
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume105 II
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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