Aerospace Control Systems

Spacecraft GNC Systems Engineering


Courses & Seminars in Attitude Determination and Control

ACS has been teaching courses through the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) since 1999. The courses are offered to the public and on-site at your company. On-site courses have been taught at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Albuquerque, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Wallops Island, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), and at Boeing.

A synopsis of courses taught by ACS and dates for the next offerings are given below. Follow the links for a complete summary. A schedule of all ATI courses is located on the ATI website. On-site courses are offered on your schedule.

Attitude Determination and Control PDF Print E-mail

This recently expanded 3.5-day course provides a detailed introduction to spacecraft attitude estimation and control. This course emphasizes many practical aspects of attitude control system design but with a solid theoretical foundation. The principles of operation and characteristics of attitude sensors and actuators are discussed. Spacecraft kinematics and dynamics are developed for use in control design and system simulation. Attitude determination methods are discussed in detail, including TRIAD, QUEST, and Kalman filters. Sensor alignment and calibration are also covered, as well as various types of spacecraft pointing controllers, design and analysis methods. Students should have an engineering background including calculus and linear algebra. Sufficient background mathematics and control theory are presented in the course but is kept to the minimum necessary.

More information about the Attitude Determination and Control course can be found on the ATI website.

The next scheduled dates for public offerings of this course are 1215 September 2011 in Los Angeles, CA and 710 November 2011 in Columbia, MD. It is also scheduled for 5 – 8 March 2012 in Chantilly, Virginia (near Dulles Airport).

Space Systems Intermediate Design PDF Print E-mail

This multi-disciplinary course provides a complete summary of the technologies needed to understand and develop spacecraft systems and instrumentation. The course presents a systems engineering approach for understanding the design and testing of spacecraft systems. The course highlights the underlying scientific and engineering foundations needed to develop space systems, as well as current practices. Case studies are used to pinpoint the key issues and trade-offs in modern design, and to illustrate the lessons learned from past successes and failures. ACS teaches one day of this 5-day course.

More information about the Space Systems Intermediate Design can be found on the ATI website.

The next scheduled date for a public offering of this course is TBA.

Attitude Determination and Sensor Calibration PDF Print E-mail

This course is being developed. It will include a treatment of Kalman Filtering and prerequisites, kinematics, theory of operation and modeling of attitude sensors and gyros, environmental factors, attitude determination filter design, and calibration. Please contact me to let me know of your interest in this course.

Introduction to Classical, Modern, and Digital Control Systems PDF Print E-mail

This 3-day short course is an introduction to classical and modern control theory. Fundamental concepts are illustrated through graphics, block diagrams, and simple examples. Basic concepts in robust control are also introduced.These concepts are reinforced through practical control system design examples. If you are interested in such a course at your facility, please contact me to let me know of your interest.

Anti-Windup Control (free* seminar) PDF Print E-mail

A free 90-minute seminar on Anti-Windup Control (AWC) was presented at the Applied Physics Laboratory and at a joint meeting of the IEEE Control Systems Society and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. Anti-windup control refers to any of several techniques to prevent integrator windup and to maintain stability and acceptable control performance when one or more control actuators saturate. Windup generally causes instability or long recovery time and poor performance when saturation ceases. An overview of several AWC techniques is given, and the most effective method is illustrated with some examples and compared to performance without AWC. If you are interested in a free seminar at your facility, please contact me to let me know of your interest.

(*Free for local travel, or if I am in your area already.)