Optimal Design of a Two-Dimensional Passive Coning Attenuator for Spinning Spacecraft Under Thrust

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The optimal design of a passive, mass-spring-damper device to attenuate the coning motion of non-rigid, spinning spacecraft under thrust is investigated. In contrast to earlier studies of this type, the device is capable of two-dimensional mass motions in a plane that is perpendicular to the thrust/spin axis. Intelligent choices for device characteristics and location result in significant spacecraft coning attenuation rates. The solution to this problem was obtained from studying similar works on the design of optimal nutation dampers for non-thrusting, spinning spacecraft. These methods were applied to produce expressions for stiffness and damping of a near-optimal two-dimensional passive coning attenuator (tuned massspring-damper) for a symmetric, spinning spacecraft under thrust. An expression was also obtained for the near-optimal relative stability of such a device. Exact optimality was not achieved since the suggested result was not physically realizable A numerical example provides a point of comparison. Performance is compared with a similar device that is constrained to one dimensional motion.


Article in Advances in the Astronautical Sciences