System Modeling and Controller Design for a Single Degree of Freedom Spacecraft Simulator

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2005-05-03

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Control systems theory is an important field of study for many branches of engineering. Teaching control systems to engineering students, however, is often difficult due to the abstract nature of the subject. TableSat is a single degree of freedom spacecraft simulator that includes sensors, actuators, a power system, and a flight processor. Students can use TableSat to design and test controllers, allowing them to see how theoretically designed controllers function in a real system. TableSat, like all real systems, is highly nonlinear. To make TableSat an effective teaching tool, the system nonlinearities are identified and compensation methods undertaken to eliminate those nonlinearities. Linear and truth system models are created for use in controller design and testing. The system models are tested and verified and then used to design and test several controllers and estimators. Results are presented that compare results for the linear model, truth model, and real TableSat system.

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