Pose Tracking Control for Spacecraft Proximity Operations Using the Udwadia-Kalaba Framework

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Pothen, Abin Alex




This thesis develops an analytical dynamics-based approach for simultaneous position and orientation tracking control of a chaser spacecraft with respect to an uncontrolled target spacecraft. The control requirements are formulated as holonomic or non-holonomic constraints, which are differentiated to obtain a constraint equation linear in acceleration. Exact real-time control forces are then generated by substituting the control constraints into the Udwadia-Kalaba equation. Three major contributions are presented. Firstly, the complete six-degree-of-freedom formulation of the Udwadia-Kalaba based pose tracking controller is presented. Simulations demonstrate the achievement of the desired objectives in space. Subsequently, a planar pose tracking controller is formulated for both a single and dual chaser configuration. Simulation results highlight the planar position and orientation synchronization with respect to a spinning target. Finally, the controller is experimentally validated in the Spacecraft Proximity Operations Testbed at Carleton University. Results show that the pose tracking control objective is achieved.


Aerospace engineering
Artificial satellites
Space debris




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Applied Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Engineering, Aerospace

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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