Orbit/Attitude Determination and Control for the UMR SAT Mission


As satellite missions become increasingly complex, a need for accurate determination and control systems using low cost hardware arises. This is especially true for university satellite programs such as the University of Missouri - Rolla satellite design team, or UMR SAT. With limited resources, mission success relies on creative and innovative hardware and software designs. This paper describes the development of control algorithms that will be used onboard the UMR SAT satellite pair. Using novel attitude and orbit control techniques and magnetometer-only attitude determination, the mission can be accomplished with low cost COTS hardware. The UMR developed θ-D controller will be used to facilitate the attitude and formation control, and the θ-D filter will be used for orbit determination. The θ-D technique has been successfully applied to a wide variety of applications ranging from wing aeroelastic flutter suppression to hit-to-kill missile autopilot design to reusable launch vehicle control. The results of each application have been very promising and show the potential improvement over pre-existing control techniques offered by the θ-D method. Along with software development, this paper also provides high fidelity simulations of the determination and control system are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithms.

Meeting Name

4S Symposium Small Satellites Systems and Services


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aeroelastic Flutters; Attitude Determinations; Control Algorithms; Control Techniques; Cots Hardwares; Formation Controls; Hardware and Software Designs; High Fidelities; Limited Resources; Low Cost Hardwares; Low Costs; Missile Autopilot Designs; Mission Successes; Orbit Controls; Orbit Determinations; Reusable Launch Vehicles; Satellite Designs; Satellite Missions; Satellite Programs; Software Developments; University of Missouris

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2008 European Space Agency, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2008

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