Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
John D. Williams
Richard L. Fork
Space debris., Sliding mode control., Lasers in aeronautics., Lasers--Scientific applications.
This thesis explores the use of a space-based laser to clean up small orbital debris from near Earth space. This system's challenge is to quickly and precisely aim the laser beam at very small (<1cm) and distant (<10km) moving orbital debris in the presence of parametric uncertainties and external disturbances. A mathematical model is derived for the debris position sensors, a Fast Steering Mirror (FSM), and a telescope which are used to track the orbital debris and then point and focus the laser beam onto the orbital debris. A Kalman Filter (KF) is designed to accurately track the orbital debris and generate a command signal for the controller. A second order Super Twisting Sliding Mode Controller (2-SMC) is designed to follow the command signal generated by the KF and to overcome the parametric uncertainties and external disturbances. The performance of the system is validated with a computer simulation created in MATLAB and Simulink.
Palosz, Arthur, "Higher order sliding mode control of laser pointing for orbital debris mitigation" (2013). Theses. 28.