Systems Theory and Automatic Control

Systems and Control Seminars for the winter semester 09/10

Novel concepts for high-precision attitude control of earth observation satellites


Jochen Rieber
EADS Astrium GmbH
88090 Immenstaad am Bodensee

Time and Place

The presentation will be given on Monday, December 7, 2009, at 5 p.m. in the faculty room FEIT, building 09, room 211.


In this talk, we first give a brief overview on attitude and orbit control systems for earth observation satellites, including control concepts, sensors, and actuators. The second part proposes two innovative approaches in this field. On the one hand, the application of electric propulsion for three-axis satellite attitude control is discussed, treating thruster configurations and thruster activation algorithms. On the other hand, a new sensor configuration for attitude determination is investigated, where star tracker and accelerometer measurements are hybridized in a Kalman filter to eliminate sensor bias and attenuate sensor noise.

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Information about the Speaker

Jochen M. Rieber is currently working at EADS Astrium (Friedrichshafen, Germany) in the field of attitude/orbit control of satellites. He received the Diploma degree in Engineering Cybernetics from the University of Stuttgart (2001), the M.Sc. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta/USA, 2001), and the PhD in Control Engineering from the University of Stuttgart (2006). At Georgia Tech, he was awarded the Sigma Xi Best M.S. Thesis Award. He was a visiting scientist at Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) in 2005. His main research interests are in optimal and robust control theory, with applications to aerospace engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology.

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