1 Introduction
2 Satellite Orbit and Performance
Requirements
High precision gravity field mapping promise new in
sight in solid Earth physics, oceanography, ice sheet
dynamics, geodesy and observation of possible sea level
changes caused by global warming. The European The orbit chosen for this mission is a nearpolar sun
Space Agency has planned a satellite dedicated for synchronous circular low Earth orbit with an altitude
this purpose: Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Ex of 250 km and an inclination i of 96.5”.
plorer (GOCE). The mission depends on accurate com
pensation of drag effects, referred to as dragfree mo The low orbit increase influence from gravity anomalies
tion control. The quality of the measurements are ex on the satellite motion but also cause an increment
pected to yield results with high accuracy: 4 mE for in the disturbance from the environment. In order to
3dimensional rate of gravity and 1 cm for the geoid be able to accomplish scientific measurements of the
with a spatial resolution of 100 km. The GOCE satel desired quality the satellite accelerations should be kept
lite is expected to be launched in 2006 [2]. below the specifications in Table 1 and Table 2 [l].
The principal moments of inertia for the satellite are 3.1 Atmospheric drag
considered to coincide with the satellite body axes x, y The acceleration of a satellite in low earth orbit due t o
and z so the inertia tensor becomes a diagonal matrix. atmospheric drag can be written as [5]
Estimated physical parameters for the satellite can be
found in Table 3.
(4)
293
where rcop is the vector from CoM to COP (see Ta
ble 3). The COP position differs for forces acting on
different spacecraft axes. Hence
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Due to the position of the COP'Srelative to the CoM,
Time lminl the atmospheric drag causes a restoring torque about
the spacecraft axes y and z.
Figure 1: Atmospheric density through 4 orbits at 250
km altitude
3.2 T h e Earth's Magnetic Field
Interaction between a magnetic moment in the space
The velocity relative to the atmosphere is a function craft and the Earth's magnetic field causes a torque on
of the absolute velocity of the satellite, V',the angu the spacecraft
lar velocity of the atmosphere, watm, and the radius NB=mBXB (15)
vector, R, from the Earth center to the satellite.
m B is the magnetic moment of the spacecraft and B is
V;,, = V'  W a t m x R (6) the Earth's magnetic field intensity at the spacecraft's
position. Different models exist for the Earth magnetic
Assuming the angular velocity of the atmosphere as of field and a tilted dipole model, deviating from the Za
the Earth and taking into account the inclination of direction by 17", has sufficient accuracy [4].This model
the orbit, i, the velocity of the satellite relativeAto the describes the components of the magnetic field as
atmosphere can be expressed as
Vbtm =
V  Rwe cosi
Rwe sin i cos(w0t) ] (7)
B=A
cos(wot  v m ) sin([,)
Vltm M [ Rwecosi
V o (8) where
where w e is the angular velocity of the Earth about its
axis [5]. The speed of the spacecraft, V , is derived from 0 A is the rotation matrix from Eq. 11
the gravitation constant of Earth, p e , and the distance 0 me is the Earth magnetic dipole strength.
from the geocenter to the spacecraft as
0 R is the distance from the center of the Earth.
0 wot is the angle from the ascending node to current
spacecraft position.
The approximation in Eq. 8 follows from assuming
0 vm is a phase angle measured from the ascending
V  RUB cos i >> Rwe sin i cos(w0t) (10) node of the orbit relative to the geographic equator
Angular errors should be taken into account when find to the ascending node of the orbit relative to the
ing the force acting on the satellite. This is done by geomagnetic equator.
applying the following rotation matrix to V;,, tmis the instantaneous inclination of the orbit
A= [ ;1cI
1cI
1
4
0
4
1
] (11)
plane to the geomagnetic equator.
294
dv 1 1
_
dt
  2 x~ v + Fa,,,
m
+ Fc
m (18)
where N , and F , denote torque and the force supplied
by the propulsion system.
3.4 Gradiometer
For measuring satellite accelerations a gradiometer is
used. This consists of six accelerometers in configura
tion that each can measure linear accelerations along
three nominally orthogonal axes. From these measure
ments the satellite accelerations along 6 degrees of free
dom are derived. The accelerometers are based on elec
trostatic suspension of proof masses adding second or
Figure 2: Cold gas thruster configuration der dynamics to the measurements [l]. Measurement
bandwidth is 1 Hz,damping coefficient is 0.7 and the
steady state gain is 1. Gradiometer noise is considered
The thrusters show a second order behaviour with as white noise with the following spectral densities for
a bandwidth of 20 Hz and a damping coefficient of rotational and translational acceleration
0.7. This gives the following relationship between com
manded and obtained control signal about an axis i
Xth = 176 0
157911
mz+ 15:1][ (ui,c +vi)
Acceleration along any axis i is thus measured as
Here ~ i is ,the~ commanded control signal, ui is the
obtained control signal and vi is the noise from the Xgm =
8.8 39.5
0
] x9m
[ 39d5 ] ai
thrusters. The reason for the nonlinearity at low fre +
quencies in the noise profile for F2/is that the ion ai,m = [o 1 ]Xgn+wi (22)
thruster is canted by an angle of 2.8" with respect to
the yaxis to allow for a redundant ion thruster. There where ai,m is the measured acceleration, ai is the true
fore a component of the ion thrust is directed towards acceleration and 2ui is the sensor noise with the spectral
y influencing noise profile. density from Eq. 20 or Eq. 21.
295
4 Control System Design
296
To validate control system performance propulsion dy 5 Conclusions and Further Work
namics is included in the system. It is noted that this
amendment does not affect system stability. Noise with A sixdegreeoffreedom model for a satellite in low
the spectral profile shown in Figure 3 is then applied Earth orbit was derived. The model included propul
and the resulting acceleration noise plotted in Figure 5 sion, measurement systems, environmental distur
against the requirements. bances from atmospheric drag and the Earth's mag
netic field. The effects on satellite dynamics were in
cluded. The satellite itself was considered a rigid body.
'Od 5 Requirements
A continuoustime control system for drag compensa
tion was designed for the satellite, treating the rota
tional and translational motions separately.
A setup for F
',I controller synthesis was described and
the designed controllers provided stability and suffi
cient performance for both control systems. The min
imum margin was found for translational acceleration
along the xaxis where the noise spectrum reached 25
% of its upper limit [6].
Acknowledgements
fully appreciated.
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References
z 10
297