CEAS Space Journal

, Volume 4, Issue 1–4, pp 13–30 | Cite as

Precision pointing H control design for absolute, window-, and stability-time errors

  • T. Ott
  • W. Fichter
  • S. Bennani
  • S. Winkler
Original Paper


Achieving precision pointing performance plays a decisive role in future space missions. Pointing performance is specified by a set of requirements consisting of absolute, window- and stability-time errors. The European Cooperation for Space Standardization categorizes this set in the following pointing performance error indices: absolute performance error (APE), mean performance error (MPE), relative performance error (RPE), performance drift error (PDE) and performance reproducibility error (PRE). The analysis of pointing error indices in time-simulations is straightforward as error data time-series can be described by standard statistics. However, for design purposes there exists no method that can directly and systematically handle control loop performance in terms of window- and stability-time pointing error indices. In this article we extend the standard multi-objective H 2/H control problem to explicitly take into account requirements on pointing error index performance. The main topic, however, is the derivation of a control design approach that subjects the closed-loop control system to only one matrix criterion, the H -norm. Therefore an optimization is set up to map pointing error index requirements into closed-loop specifications. The advantage of this approach is that the derived closed-loop specifications serve as indicators for the direct identification of design drivers, limits of performance and eventually systematic design trade-offs. Unlike in multi-objective H 2/H control design approaches, this can be done even before controller synthesis, and thus independently of the specified control problem feasibility. Moreover, the derived approach enables control design in the H closed-loop shaping framework. Thus, various design objectives including pointing performance and robustness can be treated with one matrix criterion.


Pointing performance Window-time error Stability-time error ECSS Precision pointing Hinf-control Closed-loop shaping Multi-objective H2/Hinf control Mixed H2/Hinf control 



The results obtained and presented in this article have been developed under the ESA Network/Partnering Initiative with the title “Precision Pointing Control Design Under Agility Constraints“. Partners are the Institute of Flight Mechanics and Control of Universität Stuttgart, AOCS/GNC and Flight Dynamics Department of Astrium Satellites, Germany, and the Control Systems Division of ESA/ESTEC.


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Copyright information

© CEAS 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Flight Mechanics and Control (iFR)Universität StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.ESA/ESTECNoordwijkThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Astrium SatellitesFriedrichshafenGermany

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