Attitude Determination & Control
This four-day course provides a detailed introduction to spacecraft attitude estimation and control. This course emphasizes many practical aspects of attitude control system design but with a solid theoretical foundation. The principles of operation and characteristics of attitude sensors and actuators are discussed. Spacecraft kinematics and dynamics are developed for use in control design and system simulation. Attitude determination methods are discussed in detail, including TRIAD, QUEST, and Kalman filters. Sensor alignment and calibration are also covered, as well as various types of spacecraft pointing controllers, design and analysis methods. Students should have an engineering background including calculus and linear algebra. Sufficient background mathematics and control theory are presented in the course but is kept to the minimum necessary.
Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau is an independent consultant. He was previously with the Applied Physics Laboratory, Orbital Sciences Corporation, CTA Space Systems (now Orbital), and Swales Aerospace. His early career at the Naval Surface Warfare Center involved target tracking, ship and ground vehicle gun pointing stabilization, gun fire control, and gun system calibration. His experience in satellite systems covers all phases of design and operation, including conceptual design, implementation, and testing of attitude control systems, attitude and orbit determination, and attitude sensor alignment and calibration, control-structure interaction analysis, stability and jitter analysis, and post-launch support. His current interests are precision attitude determination, attitude sensor calibration, orbit determination, and optimization of attitude maneuvers.
Dr. Pittelkau earned the B.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and the M.S. degree in EE from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
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