Attitude reacquisition of a gravity-gradient control-moment-gyro stabilized spacecraft

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1970 - Science - 29 pages
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Impulsive or time-decaying disturbances of sufficient magnitude will cause a gravitygradient control-moment-gyro stabilized spacecraft to tumble. A procedure for operating a thruster system by ground command to perform reacquisition was functionally designed and evaluated on an analog computer. When the disturbance has ceased, an on-board thruster system is used to aline the total angular momentum vector of the spacecraft in an orientation that allows the control-moment gyros to damp all spacecraft motion into a single axis. For a spacecraft in a Sun-synchronous orbit, a procedure was found to shorten the time for attitude reacquisition by using a solar array for crude attitude information.

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