Attitude Control of Satellites with De-Orbiting Solar Sails


6th International Conference on Recent Advances in Space Technologies (RAST), İstanbul, Turkey, 12 - 14 June 2013, pp.347-351 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.347-351
  • Keywords: solar sail, orbit decay, locally optimal steering law
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Utilization of solar sails for the de-orbiting of satellites is investigated. The satellite orbit is assumed to be equatorial. Proper attitude maneuver is prescribed to utilize highest solar drag from the sun. The maneuver is realized using a quaternion feedback algorithm. The success of the attitude control during the continuous and abrupt maneuvers is shown through simulations. The reduction in semi major axis due to solar drag is also demonstrated.