Title: Dynamic control of space tether deployment

Authors: Zheng H. Zhu; Latheepan Murugathasan

Addresses: Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada ' Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada

Abstract: This paper investigates the dynamic control of space tether deployment by: 1) optimal tuning of control gains of a simple tension law; 2) a passivity based tension law. The tethered spacecraft system is modelled with a nonlinear 'dumbbell' model. The tuned simple tension control law has the advantage of achieving fast tether deployment while keeping the simplicity of control law design. The passivity based control law has no overshoot of tether length and can reduce maximum in-plane pitch angle significantly. The simulation results demonstrate the efficiency and robustness of the proposed control methods.

Keywords: space tether deployment; dynamic control; passivity; optimal tuning; control gains; tethered spacecraft systems; nonlinear modelling; dumbbell tether; tension control law; control law design; tether length; in-plane pitch angle; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2015.072340

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2015 Vol.3 No.2, pp.113 - 128

Received: 19 Jan 2015
Accepted: 05 May 2015

Published online: 09 Oct 2015 *

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