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High accuracy disturbance observer-based agile attitude stabilization with three-dimensional MSW

Javad Tayebi (School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing, China)
Chao Han (School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing, China)
Yuanjin Yu (School of Automation, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 29 June 2021

Issue publication date: 5 August 2021




The purpose of this paper is agile attitude control design with the novel three-dimensional (3D) magnetically suspended wheel (MSW) that is the preferred type for agile maneuvering compared to conventional control moment gyro due to frictionless, low vibration and long lifetime. This system does not require a separate steering law for pyramid arrangement to derive tilt angles. It is also conducting an agile maneuver with high accuracy despite the high-frequency disturbances.


In this paper, a disturbance observer-based attitude stabilization method is proposed for an agile satellite with a pyramid cluster of the novel 3D magnetically suspended wheel actuator. This strategy includes a disturbance observer and a linear quadratic regulator controller. The rotor shaft deflection of MSW is actively controlled to reduce vibration and producing gyro torque. The deflection angle of the pyramid cluster MSWs considered as control parameters. The closed-loop stability is proved by using the Lyapunov strategy. The efficiency and performance of the offered method verified by numerical simulation via MATLAB/SIMULINK software.


According to simulation results, the disturbance observer-based control controller stabilized the system with high accuracy and optimal tilt angles without any extra steering law equation. Hence, the system speed is increased, and the system error is minimized without separate steering law.

Practical implications

The magnetically suspended wheel is a new kind of inertia actuator for attitude control that has several benefits such as frictionless, high-speed rotor, clean environment and low vibration compared to the traditional wheel. It has complex nonlinear dynamics that cause have complicated controller design. The proposed strategy stabilizes the system and conducting an agile maneuver with high precision despite the high-frequency disturbances. It is applicable for some missions requiring high accuracies, like Earth observation and the solar observation mission that require a very accurate pointing control and a long lifetime.


This paper is the initial paper to design a pyramid array for magnetically suspended wheels. Compared to other research, this method doesn’t need a separate steering law of the MSWs cluster and presented optimal tilt angles with less computational. Also, it designs a disturbance observer-based controller for this system that proposed high accuracy and agile stabilization.



Tayebi, J., Han, C. and Yu, Y. (2021), "High accuracy disturbance observer-based agile attitude stabilization with three-dimensional MSW", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 93 No. 5, pp. 862-869.



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