Publication:
Maximizing agility envelopes for reaction wheel spacecraft

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Authors
Karpenko, Mark
King, Jeffery T.
Subjects
Spacecraft agility
reaction wheel attitude maneuvering
torque envelope
slew time
Advisors
Date of Issue
2018
Date
Publisher
SAGE
Language
Abstract
Spacecraft agility is limited by the maximum torque that reaction wheels can provide. Therefore, a reaction wheel array is typically configured to maximize the inscribed sphere of the reaction wheel torque envelope. Agility is then determined by dividing the spherical torque by the maximum principal inertia. This industry standard approach can severely underestimate the true capability of an attitude control system. An agility envelope considers the reaction wheel torque envelope along with the spacecraft inertia tensor. The agility envelope can therefore be used as a means to quantify the conservatism associated with the standard approach in order to improve slew performance of a conventional attitude control system without the need for larger, more costly hardware or new control algorithms. This paper, presents a simple approach for constructing the agility envelope of a reaction wheel attitude control system. The agility envelope is applied to determine design curves for limits on angular acceleration and rate for maneuver design and for finding the reaction wheel skew angles that maximize agility for a given spacecraft configuration. A surprising result is the observation that maximizing the inscribed sphere of the reaction wheel torque envelope does not, in general, optimize agility.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0954410018787866
Series/Report No
Department
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
15 p.
Citation
Karpenko, Mark, and Jeffery T. King. "Maximizing agility envelopes for reaction wheel spacecraft." Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering (2018).
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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