Robust control of the circular restricted three-body problem with drag

David J.N. Limebeer, Deon Sabatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The robust control of a satellite in a three-dimensional ‘halo’ obit is studied. These orbits focus typically on regions of space close to one of the three collinear Lagrange points. In most cases these orbits are unstable, with the flight dynamics further complicated by drag effects. In order to introduce simultaneously a quantifiable robust stability margin, as well as maintain a pre-selected orbit, a two-degree-of-freedom control strategy is proposed. The control is based on a time-periodic (Formula presented.) state feedback law, and a time-periodic feed-forward preview signal that is based on an estimate of the drag influence. The feedback control stabilises the orbit and introduces a robustness margin. By anticipating and compensating for drag effects, the feed-forward control produces improved station keeping (the maintenance of a design orbit). The efficacy of these ideas is demonstrated by simulation results that are based on a Circular Restricted Thee-Body Problem (CRTBP) model. The feedback control is characterised by the solution of a time-periodic (Formula presented.) control Riccati equation. The feed-forward control comes from the solution of a linear time-periodic equation, solved backwards in time, that is driven by a disturbance estimate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Control
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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