Control and Pointing of Very Flexible Large Space Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F29601-01-C-0128
Agency Tracking Number: 011NM-0620
Amount: $97,964.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
7923 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA, 22102
DUNS: 072651391
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Lawrence Davis
 Controls Group Manager
 (321) 768-6500
Business Contact
 Mark Cecelski
Title: Director, Contracts & Adm
Phone: (703) 448-4213
Research Institution
The extreme flexibility of proposed ultra-lightweight spacecraft, such as the Air Force's PowerSail, will require a new generation of attitude control systems (ACS) that can accommodate low-frequency flexible dynamics within the pointing control bandwidth.In addition, as spacecraft designs continue to reduce mass density, it will become increasingly difficult to construct and validate dynamic models on the ground that are of sufficient fidelity to use for traditional fixed-gain control design. To meetthese challenges, we will show the feasibility of an adaptive, attitude control design approach that works during flight to autonomously identify the system dynamics affecting the control bandwidth, then design feedback control laws to achieve predefinedperformance and stability criteria. This approach is an extension of our Frequency Domain Expert (FDE) control algorithm, which is currently being demonstrated on the Space Station Freedom as part of the Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE-II).Weintend to partner with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to inject this technology into future Air Force programs, beginning with the PowerSail technology demonstration program. Once the technology has been demonstrated successfully on a flightexperiment, operational uses both for the integrated, deployable PowerSail technology and for the adaptive attitude control system technology will be exploited. In parallel with this DOD-related effort, a smaller effort will be launched in the area ofindustrial servo-controllers in Phase II. The unique capabilities of the proposed technologies will enable the implementation of an automatic, coordinated, multi-axis servo control system embodied in a stand-alone control computer.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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