Inverse dynamics particle swarm optimization applied to constrained minimum-time maneuvers using reaction wheels

Dario Spiller, Robert G. Melton, Fabio Curti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The paper deals with the problem of time-optimal spacecraft reorientation maneuvers by means of reaction wheels, with boundary and path constraints. When searching for solutions to optimal attitude-control problems, spacecraft can be easily modeled as controlled by external torques. However, when using actuators such as reaction wheels, conservation of the total angular momentum must be taken into account and the wheel dynamics must be included. A rest-to-rest slew maneuver is considered where an optical sensor cannot be exposed to sources of bright light such as the Earth, the Sun and the Moon. The motion must be constrained to prevent the sensor axis from entering into established keep-out cones. The minimum-time solution is proposed using the Inverse Dynamics Particle Swarm Optimization technique. The attitude and the kinematics of the satellite evolve, leading to the successive attainment of the wheel control input via fixed-step numerical integration. Numerical results are evaluated over different scenarios. It is established that the computation of minimum time maneuvers with the proposed technique leads to near optimal solutions, which fully satisfy all the boundary and path constraints. The ability to converge in a variety of different scenarios always requiring the same computational effort characterizes the proposed technique as a feasible future on-board path-planner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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