Spacecraft control system for the relativity mission

H. Dougherty, D. Hegel, J. Kirschenbaum, J. Vanden Beukel, W. Reeve, J. Kasdin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The attitude and translation control system described in this paper provides precision pointing and drag-free control to accomplish a scientific mission. The unique proportional helium thruster, which uses helium boiloff from the payload, controls thrust using pressure feedback to meet the high-accuracy requirements for force knowledge. The attitude control law torque commands are combined with the translation control law force commands through a distribution matrix to determine individual thruster commands. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is used to determine position and velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1123
Number of pages5
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Actuators
  • aerospace control
  • attitude control
  • closed-loop systems
  • control applications
  • control system design
  • conventional control
  • satellite control


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