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Attitude Control of Small Probes for De-orbit, Descent and Surface Impact on Airless Bodies Using a Single PWM Thruster

Howells, Gareth and Gillham, Michael (2017) Attitude Control of Small Probes for De-orbit, Descent and Surface Impact on Airless Bodies Using a Single PWM Thruster. In: 2017 6th International Conference on Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology (SMC-IT). IEEE. ISBN 978-1-5386-3463-9. E-ISBN 978-1-5386-3462-2. (doi:10.1109/SMC-IT.2017.16) (KAR id:62374)

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A single thruster attitude and de-orbital control method is proposed, capable of delivering a small spin stabilized probe with payload to the surface of an airless body such as the Moon. Nutation removal, attitude control and fast large angle maneuvers have been demonstrated and shown to be effective using a commercially available single standard cold gas pulse width modulated controlled thruster model. Maximum final impact angle due to drift and residual velocities was found to be less than 5 degrees and the maximum angle of attack to be 4 deg. The conventional 3-axis control would require as many as twelve thrusters requiring a more substantial structure with complex pipework, and a more sophisticated controller. The single thruster concept minimises the mass requirement and thus cost of the mission, making the concept of small networked surface probes for extended science missions more viable. Experiments based on computer simulation have shown that strict design and mission profile requirements can be fulfilled using the single thruster control method.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1109/SMC-IT.2017.16
Uncontrolled keywords: single thruster; attitude control; surface penetrator; air-less body; space network; communication; navigation
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering > TK7800 Electronics
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Depositing User: Gareth Howells
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 14:38 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:46 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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