Implementing Plug-and-Play Concepts in the Development of an Attitude Determination and Control System to Support Operationally Responsive Space

Abstract:

Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) has become the mantra for the next generation spacecraft that will support the warfighter. ORS missions require an extension of the current, traditional approach for fine-tuned, high cost, high accuracy attitude determination and control system (ADCS) software to create an ADCS system that can be developed much faster and less expensively. To achieve this faster, cheaper, and thus, better product, new technologies must be employed. These technologies show the promise of being disruptive, but enabling for ORS and very low-cost systems while potentially reducing cost and schedule for a broad range of systems. The introduction of Plug-and-Play (PnP) technologies to facilitate rapid integration may be effective in developing an ADCS that can be developed faster and at lower cost than current,
traditional methods allow. However, this rapid integration and reduced non-recurring cost comes with an additional initial non-recurring engineering cost for implementing PnP.
The goal is to demonstrate the potential of PnP ADCS by showing the improvements in performance, cost, and schedule, when the PnP ADCS software is demonstrated
and tested. Additionally, the implementation of a Direct Model Reference Adaptive Controller (DMRAC) as the core for the ADCS software shows promise as an efficient
method of providing stable, accurate control without requiring the extensive analysis, evaluation and gain tailoring that is typically required of more traditional controllers. Microcosm, with partner HRP Systems and graduate student Seth Harvey, have created prototype flight software that facilitates rapid integration through the implementation of PnP concepts while providing control performance suitable for many ORS missions, through the use of adaptive control algorithms. This paper will describe the software architecture, software implementation, adaptive control approach, and early evaluation results that are associated with the sponsored development of this PnP ADCS software.

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Graven, P., Y. Plam, L.J. Hansen and S. Harvey. 2008 IEEE Aerospace Conference. March 2008.