Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair

Laurie L. Joiner

Committee Member

Yuri Shtessel

Committee Member

Farbod Fahimi

Committee Member

Craig Newborn

Committee Member

Shangbing Ai


Microspacecraft., Antenna arrays., Sliding mode control.


The rising popularity of small satellites over the past few decades has created a new boom in space, and, in particular, in low-Earth orbit. Exciting novel applications are being proposed that enable these small satellites to offer many advantages over their monolithic counterparts which can allow for augmentation, or possibly even replacement of more expensive and large alternatives. One particular enabling method is flying small satellites in formation for antenna array applications, which, through coupled dynamical modeling, can be facilitated through robust, nonlinear techniques of control. Thus, control of a perturbed satellite formation antenna array, with dual quaternion dynamics, is considered. The perturbations and their derivatives are assumed bounded with unknown bounds. The objective of this dissertation is to explore continuous control algorithms which feature adaptive gain non-overestimation. In this work, four novel dual quaternion-based adaptive continuous sliding mode control algorithms to control a perturbed satellite antenna array are assessed. These methods of adaptive sliding mode control are capable of handling coupled perturbed systems, such as dual quaternion models. The efficacy of the proposed algorithms is verified via simulations and comparison to the available more traditional PD Plus controller. Additionally, controller optimization and the tuning of the controllers is explored via Monte Carlo analyses.



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