An application of adaptive fault-tolerant control to nano-spacecraft

Yu Han, James Biggs, Naigang Cui

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Since nano-spacecraft are small, low cost and do not undergo the same rigor of
testing as conventional spacecraft, they have a greater risk of failure. In this paper we address the problem of attitude control of a nano-spacecraft that experiences different types of faults. Based on the traditional quaternion feedback control method, an adaptive fault-tolerant control method is developed, which can ensure that the control system still operates when the actuator fault happens. This paper derives the fault-tolerant control logic under both actuator gain fault mode and actuator deviation fault mode. Taking the parameters of the UKube-1 in the simulation model, a comparison between a traditional spacecraft control method and the adaptive fault-tolerant control method in the presence of a fault is undertaken. It is shown that the proposed controller copes with faults and is able to complete an effective attitude control manoeuver in the presence of a fault.
Original languageEnglish
PagesPaper IAA-AAS-DyCoSS2-14-10-02
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2014
Event2nd Conference on Dynamics and Control of Space Systems, DyCoSS2 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 24 Mar 201426 Mar 2014


Conference2nd Conference on Dynamics and Control of Space Systems, DyCoSS2


  • nano-spacecraft
  • attitude control
  • quaternion feedback control method
  • adaptive control systems
  • adaptive fault-tolerant control method
  • modelling and simulation


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