Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics


Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Mahmut Reyhanoglu

Committee Member

Dr. Sergey V Drakunov

Committee Member

Dr. Bereket Berhane


Since magnetic control systems are relatively lightweight, require low power and are inexpensive, they are attractive for small, inexpensive satellites in low Earth orbits. In this thesis we present averaging-based feedback control laws that achieve three-axis stabilized nadir-pointing attitude. Two types of nonlinear feedback control laws are proposed: full-state feedback and passivity-based feedback. Full-state feedback uses the attitude and angular velocity measurements to regulate the spacecrafts dynamics. Passivity-based feedback uses the attitude measurement and doesn’t require the rate sensors. The control laws are tested using two magnetic field models: the tilted dipole model and the International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) model. Computer simulations are included to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed control laws.