Model reference adaptive control of a small satellite in the presence of parameter uncertainties

Document Type : Research Note


1 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Aerospace Engineering, K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


An accurate control algorithm for small satellites is critical to the mission's success. In this paper, a novel discrete-time Model Reference Adaptive Control algorithm (MRAC) is developed based on unified approach for attitude control of a three-axis stabilized nonlinear satellite model. The linearized model of satellite with unknown dynamic parameters is derived and Recursive Least Squares (RLS) algorithm is used to identify the linear model’s unknown parameters. In order to take into account the nonlinear model of satellite dynamics, the proposed MRAC strategy is used considering the linear model, the estimation error; and the difference between the actual nonlinear system and the linear model outputs. The actual nonlinear model of satellite includes moments of inertia uncertainties, external disturbances, and sensor noise on the outputs. The introduced controller performance is compared with a conventional discrete -time MRAC which demonstrates excellent simultaneous regulation and tracking capabilities.


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