Multiple rigid-body reorientation using relative motion with constrained final system configuration

David S. Rubenstein, Robert G. Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Moveable appendages in multibody spacecraft can augment or replace the attitude control actuators. In this work, motions of the movable bodies relative to the main body are used to adjust the system's inertial attitude so as to approach or attain a desired target attitude. A control algorithm designed to generate the maneuver commands that cause the necessary relative motions is tested with several cases representing a variety of dynamic conditions. The control can accommodate many different system configurations and dynamic conditions such as nonzero system momentum, a problem that historically has proved difficult to solve in a generalized, three-dimensional mode. Additionally, the control can return the system's geometric configuration to its initial state by the conclusion of the reorientation. The results indicate that the control can accomplish nearly complete reorientations in all cases tested while meeting the system constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-446
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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