ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Spacecraft Hybrid (Mixed Actuator) Attitude Control Experiences on NASA Science Missions
There is a heightened interest within NASA for the design, development, and flight implementation of mixed-actuator hybrid attitude control systems for science spacecraft that have less than three functional reaction wheel actuators. This interest is driven by a number of recent reaction wheel failures on aging, but what could be still scientifically productive, NASA spacecraft if a successful hybrid attitude control mode can be implemented. Over the years, hybrid (mixed-actuator) control has been employed for contingency attitude control purposes on several NASA science mission spacecraft. This paper provides a historical perspective of NASAs previous engineering work on spacecraft mixed-actuator hybrid control approaches. An update of the current situation will also be provided emphasizing why NASA is now so interested in hybrid control. The results of the NASA Spacecraft Hybrid Attitude Control Workshop, held in April of 2013, will be highlighted. In particular, the lessons learned captured from that workshop will be shared in this paper. An update on the most recent experiences with hybrid control on the Kepler spacecraft will also be provided. This paper will close with some future considerations for hybrid spacecraft control.