Nonlinear dynamics of a viscously damped spacecraft with a flexible appendage and time-dependent forcing

Andrew J. Miller, Gary L. Gray, Andre P. Mazzoleni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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In this work, we study the attitude dynamics of a single body spacecraft that is perturbed by the motion of small oscillating submasses, a small flexible appendage constrained to undergo only torsional vibration, and a rotor immersed in a viscous fluid. We are interested in the chaotic dynamics that can occur for certain sets of the physical parameter values of the spacecraft when energy dissipation acts to drive the body from minor to major axis spin. Energy dissipation, which is present in all spacecraft systems and is the mechanism which drives the minor to major axis transition, is implemented via the rotor. Not only do we obtain an analytical test for chaos in terms of satellite parameters using Melnikov's method, but we also use extensive numerical simulation to check the range of validity of the Melnikov result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2453-2472
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Issue numberPART III
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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