To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Satellite attitude control by integrator back‐stepping with internal stabilization

Reşat Özgür Doruk (Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey)
Erol Kocaoğlan (Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 25 January 2008



This paper aims to focus on the implementation of the integral back‐stepping control on the model of BILSAT – 1 satellite of the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK).


The nonlinear model of the satellite is divided into three groups and the control Lyapunov function is constructed systematically. The formed closed loop system is analyzed for stability according to a recently developed stability analysis procedure and multi‐run simulations.


Since the studied model includes the dynamics of a practical reaction wheel (SSTL Type: Microwheel), the simulation results showed that the designed controllers are suitable for practical application. The torque requirement is far below the maximum torque supplied by the wheel. In addition, the system seems to be quite fast and robust against the parametric uncertainties.

Research limitations/implications

Since the control system is nonlinear, the computational complexity will be an issue in practical application. The stability analysis should be improved to have more reliable information concerning the disturbance torques. Currently this analysis is performed by multi‐run simulations. An observer or estimator may also be designed in order to compute the attitudes from the gyroscope readings.

Practical implications

The controller designed here can be implemented on the proceeding satellite projects (foregoing BILSAT projects) by TUBITAK.


The paper provides a satellite control application of back‐stepping using a model involving modified Rodriguez parameters and reaction wheel dynamics that is not studied in the literature.



Özgür Doruk, R. and Kocaoğlan, E. (2008), "Satellite attitude control by integrator back‐stepping with internal stabilization", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 80 No. 1, pp. 3-10.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited