The capability to orient the solar arrays of a spacecraft toward the Sun is an ultimate asset for any attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS). This ability should be maintained in any operative circumstance, either nominal or off-nominal, to avoid the loss of the entire space-borne system. The safe mode implementation should guarantee a positive power generation from the solar arrays, regardless of the health status of the satellite platform. This paper presents a solar array pointing algorithm, to be executed on-board, with a minimal set of sensors and actuators. In fact, the sensors are limited to the solar arrays, exploiting the current/voltage sensing capacity of the electrical power subsystem to measure the Sun angle with respect to the arrays normal, and to the angular rates sensors. The actuators are required to provide a torque only along two axes and, thus, a reduced actuation capacity is still manageable by the proposed algorithm. The paper describes the algorithm, both in the Sun direction determination and in the Sun pointing control capacity. The achieved performance is outlined, considering either an ideal system or a realistic one, being the latter affected by sensors and actuators limitations. The actuation by means of momentum exchange devices or magnetic torquers is discussed, with the purpose to prove the wide applicability range of the presented algorithm, which is capable to guarantee solar array orientation with a minimal hardware set.

A Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control Algorithm for Solar Arrays Pointing Leveraging Sun Angle and Angular Rates Measurements

Colagrossi, Andrea;Lavagna, Michèle
2022-01-01

Abstract

The capability to orient the solar arrays of a spacecraft toward the Sun is an ultimate asset for any attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS). This ability should be maintained in any operative circumstance, either nominal or off-nominal, to avoid the loss of the entire space-borne system. The safe mode implementation should guarantee a positive power generation from the solar arrays, regardless of the health status of the satellite platform. This paper presents a solar array pointing algorithm, to be executed on-board, with a minimal set of sensors and actuators. In fact, the sensors are limited to the solar arrays, exploiting the current/voltage sensing capacity of the electrical power subsystem to measure the Sun angle with respect to the arrays normal, and to the angular rates sensors. The actuators are required to provide a torque only along two axes and, thus, a reduced actuation capacity is still manageable by the proposed algorithm. The paper describes the algorithm, both in the Sun direction determination and in the Sun pointing control capacity. The achieved performance is outlined, considering either an ideal system or a realistic one, being the latter affected by sensors and actuators limitations. The actuation by means of momentum exchange devices or magnetic torquers is discussed, with the purpose to prove the wide applicability range of the presented algorithm, which is capable to guarantee solar array orientation with a minimal hardware set.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1196309
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