Optimization of magnetic attitude maneuvers

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


The problem of minimum-time spacecraft attitude detumbling using magnetic actuators is revisited in this paper within the context of optimal control theory. The proposed closed loop control logic assumes the availability of only the ambient magnetic field measurements in the feedback loop. It is shown that the time optimality is achieved if the triple orthogonality between the torque, dipole moment and magnetic field vector is fulfilled at all times. This triple orthogonality is often neglected in current literature on the B-dot law for attitude detumblingThe Monte Carlo simulation results presented in this paper confirm the time-optimality of the control logic, and also demonstrate lower power consumption when using the proposed variant of the B-dot law, compared to the existing B-dot laws.

Publisher's Statement

© 2020, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2020-1202

Publication Title

AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum