Madhur Tiwari

Date of Award


Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Troy Henderson

First Committee Member

Dr. Richard Prazenica

Second Committee Member

Dr. Eric Coyle

Third Committee Member

Dr. Morad Nazari


Spacecraft dynamics and control in the vicinity of an asteroid is a challenging and exciting problem. Currently, trajectory tracking near asteroid requires extensive knowledge about the asteroid and constant human intervention to successfully plan and execute proximity operation. This work aims to reduce human dependency of these missions from a guidance and controls perspective. In this work, adaptive control and model predictive control are implemented to generating and tracking obstacle avoidance trajectories in asteroid’s vicinity.

Specifically, direct adaptive control derived from simple adaptive control is designed with e modification to track user-generated trajectories in the presence of unknown system and sensor noise. This adaptive control methodology assumes no information on the system dynamics, and it is shown to track trajectories successfully in the vicinity of the asteroid. Then a nonlinear model predictive control methodology is implemented to generate obstacle avoidance trajectories with minimal system information namely mass and angular velocity of the asteroid.

Ultimately, the adaptive control system is modified to include feed-forward control input from the nonlinear model predictive control. It is shown through simulations that the new control methodology names direct adaptive model predictive control (DAMPC), is able to generate sub-optimal trajectories. A comparative study is done with Asteroid Bennu, Kleopatra and Eros to show the benefits of DAMPC over adaptive control and MPC. A study on effect of noisy measurements and model is also conducted on adaptive control and direct adaptive model predictive control.