Methodology to analyze attitude stability of satellites subjected to aerodynamic torques

David Mostaza Prieto, Peter Roberts

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    Abstract

    A method to analyze the stability of satellites flying in low Earth orbits is presented. Starting from the classical rotational equations of motion, including gravity gradient, the influence of aerodynamic torques is studied both in the pitch and roll–yaw axes. Applying concepts used to assess aircraft stability, such as stability derivatives, several ideas and recommendations are presented. The work aims to link geometrical properties with attitude response, providing a way to design satellites that actively takes into account environmental torques, either by minimizing them or by utilizing them to meet mission goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)437-449
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
    Volume39
    Issue number3
    Early online date4 Jan 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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