GNC Efforts in Support of the University of Florida's Research for the NASA Instrument Incubator


The following tasks will be performed by 1 PhD student and Dr. Bevilacqua (PI at ERAU), in support of the University of Florida’s proposal for the NASA’s Instrument Incubator Program (IIP): Year 1: Drag-compensation and test mass control design. Adaptive control combined with integral concurrent learning will be investigated to estimate, in real time, the effects of drag on the spacecraft, to enable precise control of the test mass inside it. The PI has successfully used this technique for drag-based spacecraft formation flight, where online estimation of the ballistic coefficient of an unknown vehicle is critical. Support for drag-compensation thruster mapping. Lyapunov based thruster selection principles, previously developed by the PI, will be used to simplify the thruster mapping problem, and prevent the use of any numerical iterations, to ease online implementation. An additional step will involve exploring the possibility to use adaptive + ICL control to also estimate the thrust errors and their misalignment. Year 2: Spacecraft acceleration estimation based on S-GRS outputs. The test mass position and orientation are measured inside the sensor and the applied forces and torques on the test mass are known. How to use this information to optimally estimate the spacecraft acceleration and angular acceleration due to atmospheric drag remains a challenge. An approach based on a bank of Kalman (or Extended Kalman) Filters will be explored, possibly in iterative form, as previously done for spacecraft relative motion estimation by Dr. Gurfil at Technion and by the PI and one of his former students. Year 3: Support for hardware-in-the-loop testing of the control system at UF. The PI and the PhD student will support experimentation at UF, to implement the above algorithms in hardware systems. The PI has over a decade of experience in on-the-ground testing of spacecraft GNC systems. Year 1-3: Support for numerical simulation of the closed-loop system. High fidelity orbital and attitude propagators will be used to test the algorithms developed. STK and NASA’s Spice will also be candidates for comparison.

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