Are there any good sources that discuss: the steps involved in deriving attitude/orbit control design specifications, from satellite mission design/performance requirements?


1 Answer 1


I can think of at least 3 books that would probably be needed to be read together (or in a course of study) that can help with this, but it's a REALLY broad question.

  1. Space Mission Analysis and Design, by Wertz check it out. This book is about, you guessed it, Space Mission Analysis and Design (SMAD). It's a handbook, not a textbook, so it expects that you know about both satellite communications and orbital mechanics. I used it in my 3rd year SMAD course and I still have it. This one is all about specifications of various spacecraft subsystems.
  2. Satellite Communications, by Roddy check it out. This one is all about designing constellations and link budgets for satellite communications, specifically around Earth. Your question didn't specify, so I assumed, but if you're looking for interplanetary then this might not be the best. It also goes into antenna design. This book will help to determine the pointing/accuracy specifications.
  3. Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, by Curtis check it out. This is one of many, many books on orbital mechanics. I can't speak to any others but this one was decent. I also liked it because it included references to "Star Wars Trajectories" (minimal time trajectories, ignoring fuel constraints). This goes into the equations of motion for orbits, which is useful for control.

Are there more? Yes! There are many more factors to consider, like what your satellites are doing in space and how the space environment affects things where they are.

  • $\begingroup$ [Part 1] Hi @Michael! Thank you for your reply. I have studied SMAD and OME during my studies, they are good sources for preliminary pointing requirement generation. I scrolled through Sat. Com, a very good book for the topic, but not much on satellite attitude control. I have requirements for pointing accuracy, slew rate, jerk constraint, max. angular acceleration, actuator capabilities, etc. for a ground station tracking satellite mission. ..... $\endgroup$
    – Watch This
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ ...[Part 2] Given the satellite dynamics and the above-mentioned requirements, I want to systematically derive control design specifications. Like roll-off freq, control bandwidth, robustness margins and so forth to meet the mission design specs. So far I have seen ECSS and JAXA standards on the matter. Was wondering if there are alternatives on the spacecraft attitude control design specifications. $\endgroup$
    – Watch This
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ @WatchThis you should update the question to specify these more specific specifications :). $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2019 at 20:26

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