Optimal rotation sequences in presence of constraints on admissable rotation axes

Giulio Avanzini, Luca Bernardo, Fabrizio Giuletti, Edmondo Minisci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In underactuated conditions, satellite attitude actuators can deliver a control torque with two components only. The paper develops a general solution for the problem of attitude manoeuver planning for underactuated spacecraft
by means of a sequence of N admissible rotations, where a rotation is considered to be admissible if it takes place around an axis which lies on the plane where the actuator system can deliver a control torque. An exact solution for the sequence of two feasible rotations that provides a desired reorientation is derived, where the minimum angular path sequence can also be identified analytically. The optimal sequence for a higher number of steps is obtained by
means of a numerical optimization procedure. The features of the optimal sequences for increasing values of N are investigated in order to obtain a better understanding of their characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-563
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • rotation sequences
  • rotation axes


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