A control synthesis for a spacecraft equipped with a set of magnetorquer coils is addressed. The electromagnetic actuation is particularly attractive for small low-cost spacecraft missions, due to their relatively low price, high reliability, light weight, and low power consumption. The interaction between the Earth´s magnetic field and an artificial magnetic field generated by the coils produces a control torque. The magnetic attitude control is intrinsically periodic due to cyclic variation of the geomagnetic field in orbit. The control performance is specified by the generalized H2 operator norm. A linear matrix inequality-based algorithm is proposed for attitude control synthesis. Simulation results are provided, showing the prospect of the concept for onboard implementation.
Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 2004, Vol 27, Issue 5, p. 874-881