A cold gas propulsion system is well suited to provide the required thrust for a small surveyor spacecraft operated near an asteroid or planetary surface. The cold gas propellant can obtained in-situ from local surface or atmospheric constituents. For small spacecraft, the cold gas system may be limited to only on-off control of the main tank where the generated thrust is directly dependent on the tank pressure. As such the thrust will slowly decrease as the propellant is expended. A state feedback, time optimal, control law is developed for a vehicle with propellant is expended. A state feedback, time optimal, control law is developed for a vehicle with decreasing thrust in translational motion. The success of the control law is shown in simulation.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Kitchen-McKinley, S. J., & Drakunov, S. V. (2017). Time Optimal State Feedback Control with Application to a Spacecraft with Cold Gas Propulsion. IFAC PapersOnLine, 50(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ifacol.2017.08.1366