Date of Award

12-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Hudson

Second Advisor

Dr. Kristina Lemmer

Third Advisor

Dr. Kapsong Ro

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This thesis implements a linear quadratic attitude control system for a low-thrust spacecraft. The goal is to maintain spacecraft alignment with a time-varying thrust vector needed for trajectory change maneuvers. A linear quadratic attitude control approach is used to maintain spacecraft pointing throughout flight. This attitude control strategy uses the thrust-acceleration input obtained from a linear quadratic optimal trajectory control model that simulates the trajectory of a spacecraft in orbit maneuvers. This attitude model simulates a CubeSat, a small satellite that is equipped with a low-thrust propulsion and attitude control system. An orbit raising and a plane change scenario is modelled for this spacecraft. The results of the attitude model show that for the orbit raising maneuver, the attitude controller exhibits periodic behavior with the same frequency as the calculated spacecraft thrust acceleration.

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