Control of Large Space Structures Using Reduced-order Models


Simulation of space structures forms a critical part of the space station design process. The distributed parameter system is discretized by suitable approximation techniques such as Rayleigh-Ritz or finite element methods and is represented by a finite set of ordinary differential equations. From the control engineer's perspective, this finite set of equations is often too large for control computations and reduced-order models are synthesized and used for controller design. The current work addresses the finite element modeling, reduced-order model synthesis and the design and validation of suboptimal controllers for a realistic model of a space station. The balanced realization technique and the Routh approximation method are used to develop meaningful lower-order models for controller design. If the state variables are not available for feedback, then an appropriate state estimator has to be designed. This aspect of the design is not considered in the paper. Extensive simulations for the control tasks of vibration suppression, attitude control and minimization of line-of-sight errors demonstrate that any performance degradation incurred by using suboptimal controllers is minimal.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Control Systems; Optimal; Mathematical Techniques; Systems Science and Cybernetics-Large Scale Systems

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 1991 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1991

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