Distributed adaptive tracking control of multiple flexible spacecraft under various actuator and measurement limitations

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1586
Journal / PublicationNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number3
Online published4 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


This paper investigates the distributed leader–follower tracking problem for a team of flexible spacecraft over an undirected communication network with uncertain parameters subject to various actuator and measurement limitations. Assuming that at least one team member can receive information from the virtual leader, three scenarios are considered: (i) all the states of the flexible spacecraft can be completely measured and driven, (ii) only the rigid part of the flexible spacecraft can be driven with full state feedback and (iii) only the rigid part of the flexible spacecraft can be measured and driven. In the first case, a continuous adaptive control law is designed by building a unified architecture based on the linear-in-parameter property. In the second case, a distributed adaptive control algorithm is developed with a discontinuous parameter update law by treating the team of flexible spacecraft as two cascading subsystems. In the third case, a distributed adaptive control law is established with feedback from the generalized coordinates, generalized velocities and generalized accelerations of the rigid part of the spacecraft. It is theoretically proved that the closed-loop systems under the three designed adaptive control laws are all convergent to the target states. Finally, three numerical examples are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the three proposed control laws.

Research Area(s)

  • Distributed adaptive tracking, Flexible spacecraft, Parametric uncertainty, Partial state feedback, Under-actuated