Picture of Open Access badges

Discover Open Access research at Strathprints

It's International Open Access Week, 24-30 October 2016. This year's theme is "Open in Action" and is all about taking meaningful steps towards opening up research and scholarship. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Explore recent world leading Open Access research content by University of Strathclyde researchers and see how Strathclyde researchers are committing to putting "Open in Action".


Image: h_pampel, CC-BY

Optimal geometric motion planning for a spin-stabilized spacecraft

Biggs, James and Horri, Nadjim (2012) Optimal geometric motion planning for a spin-stabilized spacecraft. Systems and Control Letters, 61 (4). pp. 609-616. ISSN 0167-6911

Biggs_JD_Pure_Optimal_geometric_motion_planning_for_spin_stabilized_spacecraft_Feb_2012.pdf - Preprint

Download (1MB) | Preview


A method requiring low-computational overhead is presented which generates low-torque reference motions between arbitrary orientations for spin-stabilized spacecraft. The initial stage solves a constrained optimal control problem deriving analytical solutions for a class of smooth and feasible reference motions. Specifically, for a quadratic cost function an application of Pontryagin’s maximum principle leads to a completely integrable Hamiltonian system that is, exactly solvable in closed-form, expressed in terms of several free parameters. This is shown to reduce the complexity of a practical motion planning problem from a constrained functional optimization problem to an unconstrained parameter optimization problem. The generated reference motions are then tracked using an augmented quaternion feedback law, consisting of the sum of a proportional plus derivative term and a term to compensate nonlinear dynamics. The method is illustrated with an application to re-point a spin-stabilized agile micro-spacecraft using zero propellant. The low computational overhead of the method enhances its suitability for on-board motion generation.