E. Canuto, C. Novara, L. Massotti, D. Carlucci & C. Perez-Montenegro, Spacecraft dynamics and control: the embedded model control approach, Elsevier Aerospace Engineering Series, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK, 2018


Questa immagine ha l'attributo alt vuoto; il nome del file è Cover1-2-pdf-830x1024.jpgSpacecraft Dynamics and Control: the Embedded Model Control Approach provides a uniform and systematic way of approaching space engineering control problems from the standpoint of model-based control, using state-space equations as the key paradigm for simulation, design and implementation.

The book introduces the Embedded Model Control methodology for the design and implementation of attitude and orbit control systems. The logic architecture is organized around the embedded model of the spacecraft and its surrounding environment. The model is compelled to include disturbance dynamics as a repository of the uncertainty that the control law must reject to meet attitude and orbit requirements within the uncertainty class. The source of the real-time uncertainty estimation/prediction is the model error signal, as it encodes the residual discrepancies between spacecraft measurements and model output. The embedded model and the uncertainty estimation feedback (noise estimator in the book) constitute the state predictor feeding the control law. Asymptotic pole placement (exploiting the asymptotes of closed-loop transfer functions) is the way to design and tune feedback loops around the embedded model (state predictor, control law, reference generator). The design versus the uncertainty class is driven by analytic stability and performance inequalities. The method is applied to solve several attitude and orbit control problems.

Key features

  • The book begins with an extensive introduction to attitude geometry and algebra and ends with the core themes: state-space dynamics and Embedded Model Control.
  • Orbital mechanics, attitude kinematics and dynamics, and environmental perturbations are treated giving emphasis to state-space formulation, disturbance dynamics, state feedback and prediction, closed-loop stability.
  • Sensors and actuators are treated giving emphasis to measurement errors, command distribution and dynamics. Numerical tables are included and their data employed for numerical simulations.
  • Orbit and attitude control problems of the European GOCE mission are the inspiration of numerical exercises and simulations.
  • The suite of the attitude control modes of a GOCE-like mission is designed and simulated around the so-called mission state predictor.
  • Solved and unsolved exercises are included within the text – and not separated at the end of chapters – for better understanding, training and hands-on applications.
  • Simulated results and their graphical plots are developed through MATLAB/Simulink code.


Researchers and practitioners in the field of control engineering, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and applied mathematics. The detailed exposition of fundamental topics may benefit students and young practitioners.