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Spacecraft Control 7.5 credits

Second cycle, R7026R
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2021 Sp 2 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
Second cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Space Engineering
Subject group (SCB)
Space Technology
Main field of study
Space Technology

Entry requirements

Basic courses in linear algebra, calculus, and ordinary differential equations and partial differentials e.g M0055M Functions of Several Variables or equivalent. Basic knowledge of the Laplace transform, e.g M0046M Mathematics Space or equivalent. R7025R Orbit and Attitude Dynamics. R0005E Measurement and feedback control. Knowledge in English equivalent to English 6.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 20-285 credits

Course Aim
 After successfully finishing the course, the student shall be able to:
• Explain and model the spacecraft attitude dynamics and control. 
• Explain and model the passive and active attitude control systems for applications on attitude stabilization and attitude maneuver control by using classical control theory as well as the attitude estimation based on Kalman filtering technique. 
• Perform analytical and computer-based calculation of attitude dynamics and control and estimation. 
• Write report of analysis and calculations.
• Assess and report on the feasibility of different attitude control systems in different situations

The course covers the essentials of attitude dynamics and control, Euler angles, Euler equations and quaternions, Torque free motion, Spin-stabilization, Stabilization with momentum and reaction wheels, Dual-spin, Gyroscope control and gravity gradient stabilization, Active attitude control, Automatic feedback control, Nutation and libration damping, Analysis of linear systems, Laplace transforms and transfer functions. introduction of the Kalman filter for attitude estimation. MATLAB simulations.

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.
Lectures covering the contents, individual and group assignments, and practical using mathematical and engineering tools for modeling and design.

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.
Written examination composed by questions involving theory and mathematical problems. A number of hand in assignments along the course and, at the end of the course, a project assignment performed in group with oral presentation.
The final grade 5, 4, 3, and U (Fail) given for the course reflects the results obtained in the various components of the course.

This course cannot be part of the degree together with the course R7016R.

René Laufer

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2019 Sp 1
Sidi, Marcel J., Spacecraft Dynamics & Control. A Practical Engineering Approach, Cambridge University Press 1997.
ISBN-13 978-0-521-55072-7 hardback
ISBN-10 0-521-55072-6 hardback
ISBN-13 978-0-521-78780-2 paperback
ISBN-10 0-521-78780-7 paperback

Wertz, James R., Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control,
Springer 1978,
ISBN 978-94-009-9907-7 (e-book)
ISBN 978-90-277-1204-2

Supplementary course literature:

Markley, F. Landis, Crassidis, John L.: Fundamentals of Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control, Microcosm Press and Springer 2014.
ISBN 978-1-4939-0801-1
ISBN 978-1-4939-0802-8 (eBook)

Wie, Bong: Space Vehicle Dynamics and Control, Second Edition - AIAA Educational series 2008.
ISBN 978-1-56347-953-3

Chapter 19 in
Wertz, James R., Everett, David. F., Puschell, Jeffery J.: Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD, Microcosm Press2011.
ISBN 978-1-881-883-15-9 (pb)
ISBN 978-1-881-883-16-6 (hb)

Course offered by
Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0003Assignment reportG U 3 4 51.00MandatoryA21
0004Project workG U 3 4 52.00MandatoryA21
0005Written examG U 3 4 54.50MandatoryA21

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
by Jonny Johansson, HUL SRT 15 Feb 2019

Last revised
by Jonny Johansson, HUL SRT 20 Aug 2021