Conference paper Open Access

Model Predictive Control for On-Board-Optimized Attitude Guidance for Cometary Fly-By - Problem Statement, Solutions and V&V Process

Lourenço, Pedro; Franco, João; Milhano, Tiago; Branco, João

Embedded on-board-optimization-based guidance is a set of guidance schemes that provide spacecraft the capability to plan and perform trajectories under several constraints autonomously. This autonomy will allow the space vehicle to more efficiently perform more challenging goals while dealing with rapidly changing environments, unmodelled/unforeseen dynamics and failure scenarios. However, the unique challenges of on-board applications raise the need for a thorough analysis of the computational efficiency, reliability, accuracy, and robustness of the solution process. This is directly related to how the guidance function is formulated, modelled, and analyzed, a process that should be founded on the understanding of the underlying physics and tailoring of the design to the specific problem. Verification and validation of such guidance schemes, wherever theoretically possible or empirical/numerically otherwise, is an important metric when evaluating the feasibility of the proposed solutions.
This paper proposes a Model Predictive Control (MPC) approach to the constrained attitude guidance problem. The problem is approximated in two ways:
1)    A convex quadratically constrained quadratic program (QCQP) form, to be solved numerically by means of a QCQP solver.
2)    A convex quadratic program (QP) form with linear constraints, to be handled by means of a QP solver.

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