Primer on Spacecraft Dynamics
This chapter provides a fundamental theory of spacecraft dynamics. After a brief survey of gravitational field, the two-body problem is summarized as a simplified model of orbit motion of a spacecraft around the Earth. The main environmental torques acting on spacecraft, the gravitational torque and magnetic torque are introduced. The dynamical equations of attitude motion of a spacecraft are established, where the Euler’s equations and Poisson’s equations are applied for a rigid spacecraft in gravitational field. The stability problems of the relative equilibrium of a rigid spacecraft in circular orbit under gravitational torque are analyzed by using the first approximation method and the Lyapunov’s direct method. The attitude motions of a gyrostat are analyzed as a model of spacecraft with axisymmetric rotors. The permanent rotations and its stability of a spinning spacecraft are discussed under torque-free assumption.
Keywordsorbit dynamics two-body problem gravitational torque magnetic torque Euler’s equations Poisson’s equations torque-free rigid bodies gyrostats
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