Patent Number: 6,305,647

Title: Method and apparatus for steering the attitude of a satellite

Abstract: A method is disclosed for controlling the attitude of a satellite by controlling the speed of the gimbals of CMGs in a cluster of CMGs, the CMG having respective wheels mounted on gimbals that are mounted on a satellite platform to rotate about different orientation axes. From starting conditions and end conditions relating to attitude and angular speed and time, a cluster configuration is determined that is remote from any singular configuration such that exchanging angular momentum between the cluster of CMGs and the satellite during a given length of time will give rise to the desired attitude maneuver. The orientation of each gimbal is changed in simultaneous and independent manner into its reference orientation by using an angular position reference, applied in an open loop in the local servo-control of the angular positions of the gimbals.

Inventors: Defendini; Ange (Montjoire, FR), Lagadec; Kristen (Toulouse, FR)

Assignee: Matra Marconi Space France

International Classification: B64G 1/28 (20060101); B64G 1/24 (20060101); G05D 1/08 (20060101); B64G 001/28 (); B64C 017/06 ()

Expiration Date: 10/23/2018